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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
They say that nice things come in small packages, but Shreya doesn’t want to be small anymore. It’s her birthday. Shouldn’t she be growing taller? That’s her wish, but when the day of celebration comes to an end, she is saddened to realize she hasn’t grown at all. Her mother takes time to comfort Shreya, explaining that size isn’t what makes a person sparkle. She shares stories from Hindu mythology that talk about small creatures. For example, “Lord Ganpati rides on a tiny mouse.” And “Lord Hanuman can become big or small.” Ma also explains the biological reason for a person’s size, telling Shreya in simple terms why she is small – for now. Size, whether it’s big or small, has its advantages. Shreya’s brother, Anik, joins in the conversation and points out some of the advantages Shreya has being small. For one thing, she can fit into small spaces which makes cuddling on the couch with Ma and Papa easier for her than it is for her brother.
Aditi Wardhan Singh’s picture book story, Small or Tall, We Sparkle After All: A Body Positive Children’s Book about Confidence and Kindness, is a feel-good story to help young readers accept themselves the way they are and to remember the self-confidence and kindness is much more important than size or looks. Sparkles, after all, come from within. The story is told in simple language so a young reader can follow along and perhaps read some of it themselves. There is an interesting explanation of Hindu myths and a biological explanation of how our body grows. The colorful illustrations help carry the story along. At the end of the book, there is an interactive section sharing more Hindu stories, some healthy eating and drinking habits, a list of questions to help start a family conversation on the topic, some activity suggestions, and, most importantly, a list of “Daily Affirmations” to promote a daily body positive attitude, not just for children, but for everyone. Very well presented and this book will certainly be an enjoyable addition to a child’s library.