Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
Children's book review by P.J. Rooks
Ages 3 to 8
Molly Lou Melon is small and funny looking, but she's got more spunk than a passel of pachyderm protestors at an ivory piano convention -- and it's all because her little, funny looking grandma has plenty of good advice for her.
"Walk as proudly as you can and the world will look up to you," advises the elder Melon. "Believe in yourself and the world will believe in you too."
With buck teeth and the voice of a sick duck, Molly Lou Melon takes her grandma's words to heart and never gives one single second over to wallow in self-doubt.
Molly Lou Melon does handstands on the stair rail, stacks pennies on her teeth and dances a fairy jig in a ring of fireflies. She hops aboard a lily pad and regales a frightened frog with song then goes home and juggles Ming china while riding a unicycle across a tight-rope (much to the consternation of the family cat).
Nutty Molly Lou Melon -- she sure knows how to have fun!
But then, she has to move away and start at a new school. Has her unshakeable confidence finally met its match? Are her free-spirited days nearing a sad end?
Enter Ronald Durkin, school bully and the new plague of Molly Lou Melon's life. Ronald can dish it out, but he really can't take it, and plucky little Molly Lou foils his every attempt to make an outcast of her.
In the end, Ronald Durkin surrenders with a peace offering and Molly Lou Melon has made yet another new friend.
With her great sense of humor, loveable Molly Lou Melon will have every reader wishing that they buck teeth and a sick-duck voice too.
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon teaches children how to revel in the things that make them different, shows kids what fun can be had when each day becomes a testing grounds for their own special gifts and points out just how easily our "weaknesses" can be leveraged into strengths.
On each page, David Catrow's buoyant illustrations burst with mirth as big-eyed, sincere-faced kids take on the childhood explorations of a rainbow world.
This artist who paints such vivid exuberance into little characters like Molly Lou Melon is, hands-down, our favorite illustrator -- not a single book with his name on the cover has been returned to the library un-protested by my three-year-old.
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon is a great book that your kids are sure to want to hear over and over. But don't just take my word for it, check out Amazon.com's 62 customer reviews for this book -- every one of them a five-star rating!
Also, to dazzle your little one with more of Catrow's kind of fun, just have a look at the fantastic books he did in tandem with author Karen Beaumont: I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! and I Like Myself! or check out all Catrow's books at Amazon.com. (Also Our Tree Named Steve, reviewed on this site.)
Read more of P.J.'s reviews.
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