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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Flabby Abby Beach Ball: A Story About Being Yourself is a children’s social issues picture book written and illustrated by George Neeb. Abby loved being a superhero, and seeing her dashing around the neighborhood dressed up in her superhero costume and tights was a fairly common occurrence. Abby didn’t care that she was different from other kids, and she wasn’t worried that they would make fun of her wearing her superhero costume to school, but her mom and her aunt were. Abby was going to a new school, and she was rather disappointed by the reactions of students to her appearance. They seemed to delight in making fun of her. It bothered her that they couldn’t see how amazing she was because all they could see was the superficiality of her appearance. Then something happened to change their opinions.
Flabby Abby Beach Ball addresses the stresses and strains children feel when they or others perceive them as being different. Abby is fine with her size and shape, but it bothers her that the other kids are so mean about it. I loved Abby’s strong sense of self and applauded as she stands up to be who she is -- superhero costume and all. Neeb’s illustrations are imaginative, original and grand fun. Each one is boldly and brightly colored, and there’s a big surprise at the back of the book for any kids or adults who want to try their own hand at illustrating. Neeb provides a link to his site where they can find instructions and even an instructional video. He also shares his secrets for the dramatic and colorful backgrounds found in his pictures, and he simply describes the entire process for making an illustration. Flabby Abby Beach Ball: A Story About Being Yourself is most highly recommended.