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Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
Mirror, Mirror by Barbara Freeman is a children’s book suitable for young children of grade second onwards. Mirror, Mirror is a story about a young black child named Tina Thomas who lives in Omaha with her parents and sisters. Tina is sometimes sad about her brown skin and curly black hair and how she looks. One day, as she is sitting in front of her mirror, the mirror suddenly asks her who is the prettiest girl she knows. Tina pauses and thinks that celebrities with blond hair and blue eyes must be pretty so that is what she answers. The mirror replies, “Wrong answer,” and that he will ask again later.
In the meantime, Tina goes out bike riding and has a fall and her neighbors help her up. They tell her she is their favorite child in the neighborhood because she is always kind and helpful to people. One of them is also a Black History teacher and educates Tina more on the history of slavery and what it meant for African Americans, and brave black people such as Harriet Tubman, Madam C.J. Walker, and Mrs. Clara Luper who fought for what’s right. Hearing and understanding black history, Tina feels proud of her heritage and next time the mirror asks her who is the prettiest girl of all, she answers differently and means it.
Mirror, Mirror by Barbara Freeman is a book meant to serve a lesson that beauty is not just superficial. It is, in fact, more about what’s inside a person. Tina learns this herself and after becoming aware of her roots and brave ancestry, she rightly understands that she is proud of herself and her race, and that she is beautiful, kind, and strong. Barbara Freeman has written an engaging, sweet story that educates young children while also entertaining them. Tina is very relatable and most children will easily identify with her. The illustrations in the book complement the story very nicely and this is certainly a good book for young readers of all ages.