Dear Girl is a picture book written for girls, reminding them of their incredible strength and resilience, while also speaking to the importance of being yourself and loving and caring for yourself. This book is written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and her daughter Paris Rosenthal. After Mrs. Rosenthal passed away last year due to ovarian cancer, Paris began finishing and continuing all of her mother’s projects, which is how Dear Girl became published. Her incredibly courageous and positive mother imparted countless lessons and pieces of knowledge on her daughter that Paris shares with girls everywhere through the book Dear Girl.
Every page starts the same way: “Dear Girl,…” This introduction is followed by encouraging messages such as “Keep that arm raised! You have smart things to say!” The book talks about working hard and trying your best in school, being yourself (whether that means pink sparkles or playing in the mud), and how to talk to yourself. It tells young girls to be proud of every piece of themselves and to thank yourself for everything that you have done, will do, and can do. Beyond the content of the story, the writing style furthers the impact that this book has on its reader. There are rhyming sentences, bolded phrases, and relatable dialogue that keep the story moving and engaging.
The illustrations in this story are also lovely. All of the pages have a white background with a simple, yet meaningful depiction of the words. The illustrator, Holly Hatam, uses a variety of materials to illustrate the story, keeping the readers engaged and on their toes. She includes collages, prints, drawings, and watercolors. Many of the illustrations have thought bubbles and pages full of color and happiness. Growing up can be hard, especially when you are worried about things that prevent you from being you, which is something that a lot of young people might struggle with today. This book encourages girls to be themselves in a bubbly and encouraging manner. The simplicity of the words does not limit the power that they hold!
This story is definitely written for young girls to read or to be read to. I think that reading this story to a group of girls in the classroom could be a very powerful experience for everyone involved. Discussing these experiences and feelings is important because most girls, and people in general, may think these feelings are exclusive to themselves when, in reality, numerous people can relate and are going feeling emotions.