Perhaps the most significant aspect of Ferguson’s book is its acknowledgment that children will face struggles and unpleasant feelings as they grow, learn, and endeavor to fulfill that promise. In one illustration, the frowning girl holds up a test with a grade of D-, and a few pages later she trips and falls while learning to roller skate before finally succeeding. An essential bit of wisdom accompanies those scenes: “I will scar this chin from some falls I may take. They will be lessons I will learn from the choices I make.” The book also shows the siblings expressing a wide range of emotions–silly, scared, angry, excited–which will give parents the opportunity to discuss these feelings with their children.
Wide-eyed, playful, and sincere, the kids in Ferguson’s mirror seem real and friendly, which will help preschoolers relate to them and identify their own emotions and experiences in the illustrations. The pictures are colorful, inviting, and original, growing more elaborate and inventive with the kids’ imaginings. (The cover does not fully represent the quality of work inside.) They give the book personality and depth while helping young readers develop the tools to build their confidence in a way that feels fun and fresh.
Takeaway: This picture book reminds kids they’re much more than what they see in the mirror.
Great for fans of: Susann Hoffmann’s YOU Are Awesome, Vanessa Brantley-Newton’s Just Like Me.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: A-
From the first page to the last, this inventive, beautifully illustrated tale affirms a child’s value.