The Dirt Girl

Children - Picture Book
32 Pages
Reviewed on 06/17/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jodi Dee is a multi award winning Author, regular columnist for Bay State Parent Magazine, and an avid blogger. She is a mother of three with more than 20 years’ experience in early childhood and education. Jodi has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology & History and a Master’s in Education from Clark University. She is a passionate advocate and teacher of emotional maturity, early childhood education, and empowering children to learn through creativity, autonomy, self-exploration, and discovery.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite

The Dirt Girl by Jodi Dee is a picture story book dedicated to all children who feel different, be it because of their appearance, their family background, the color of their skin or simply because they enjoy a different kind of lifestyle than the majority. The latter is the case for Zafera. She’s a rather pretty girl with lush ginger hair, a sweet smile, and a natural appearance. And nature is something she cares about a lot. When she’s ready to go to school, she is looking forward to meeting other boys and girls, but soon finds out that they judge her negatively because she always has flowers in her hair and some dirt on her clothes. Zafera sees a chance to win over the other kids with a birthday party. She invites them and all of them accept. The children have no idea how surprised they will be when they see Zafera’s home!

The design of The Dirt Girl by Jodi Dee is very beautiful. You can lose yourself in the illustrations, and I found Zafera’s home to be beautiful. I’d like to live there myself. It’s a bit like a mix of Hobbit and elf homes! Just looking at the images actually relaxes you. The story is the main draw of the book. It’s a lovely little tale of a girl who is different – but in a way that should be encouraged. She is mocked by others because they do not understand her. After all, they are used to a world of technology and know little of nature. And as we know, the unknown causes fear and fear causes people to lash out in various ways. In this case, it’s a form of bullying. It’s a beautiful book with a beautiful story that should be part of every child’s library!

Amy Louise Hill

The Dirt Girl by Jodi Dee is a beautiful picture book for young children that explores social issues and teaches self-love and authenticity. A young girl named Zafera starts at a new school. She is full of anticipation and ready to begin her first day. When she arrives, her excitement soon disappears, as the other children seem to stare at her and want to make fun of her. Zafera doesn't look like everyone else, but she doesn't understand why that's a problem. Zafera remains true to who she is and accepts all the teasing thrown her way. One day, being the kind and accepting person that she is, Zafera decides to invite all of her classmates over to her house. Will the children continue with their cruelty or will they give Zafera a second chance? Find out in this charming book.

The Dirt Girl was a joy to read. I love books that teach children about self-acceptance and self-love because it is truly important for their growth as people. Jodi Dee shows off her talents by creating a perfect, heart-warming story that children will love and learn from. The writing is flawless and simple enough to allow children to follow along easily. The illustrations by the incredible Sara Roche and Ed Espitia are adorable and show off Zafera's personality perfectly. If your child could do with a little pick me up, then this book will do just that, and more. Keep writing, Jodi, I hope to read more from you soon.

Pikasho Deka

The Dirt Girl by Jodi Dee is a sweet story about a little girl who was always a bit different from others. Zafera was a beautiful little girl with strawberry-red hair and dark green eyes. However, she was always covered in dirt. One day, when she goes to school, everyone starts teasing her about the twigs in her hair and her homemade dress. But Zafera takes these things in her stride and, for weeks, plays alone in the playground. Zafera invites everyone to her home on her birthday with handcrafted invitations made from flowers, tea leaves, and yellow petals. This makes the other students curious, and they all attend her birthday. In her home built into the side of the mountain, they discover ways to enjoy the rich abundance of nature and realize Zafera's unique influence.

Everyone is different in one way or the other and all of us have inherent qualities that distinguish us and make us unique. The Dirt Girl is a children's award-winning picture book that celebrates the distinct nature that sets us apart and makes us who we truly are. Jodi Dee urges readers to embrace their differences wholeheartedly and enjoy life to the fullest. Illustrators Sara Roche and Ed Espitia have done a wonderful job of putting imagery to the author's story, and, aside from the splash of colors, they add so many layers to the main character of Zafera. Dee's prose is easy to read and a breeze to go through, equally suitable for kids and adults alike. I highly recommend this one.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

The Dirt Girl by Jodi Dee is an amazing illustrated children’s book. Zafera is a pretty girl, but she always has dirt on her and twigs in her hair. When it’s time for her to start school, she is excited, but all the other children point and laugh, teasing her about her appearance. Zafera is a little confused but thinks this is just how children are, so she smiles and carries on. When her birthday arrives, she invites all the children to her house for a party. Will they go? Will they understand why Zafera is like she is? Why is Zafera so different?

The Dirt Girl by Jodi Dee is a wonderful story, and I love the illustrations. This is a great kid’s story, but it has a powerful message about self-love and acceptance. Kids are very quick to tease and laugh when someone looks a bit different, and they rarely stop to question why. This story teaches kids that being different is not a bad thing and that they should accept themselves for who they are. At the end of the day, if you don’t like yourself, then no one else will, and Zafera’s story showed that by not allowing the teasing to make her sad and by showing the other children her life, she was being true to herself. Our differences set us apart from others and make us so special. It also teaches kids to appreciate nature and what it can offer us without destroying it. This is a well-written story, and I loved the house. It's the kind of house I want to live in! Great story and lovely illustrations; a must-read book for all kids and adults.