Tiny Irma

The Strange Girl

Children - Picture Book
40 Pages
Reviewed on 06/22/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Every one of us is unique and special in our own way. But the very same thing that makes us unique sometimes can also make us feel different from others. Tiny Irma: The Strange Girl by Anna Iris is the story of one such little girl. Growing up in a remote cabin in the woods by the river, Irma was a happy child who loved attending school and listening to stories about the world from her grandfather, Old Bud. But then, one day, all of a sudden, Irma was struck by a shadow of darkness that she struggled to shrug off. Feeling sad, Irma refuses to go outside and keeps herself cooped up in the cabin for a long time. But after her grandfather shares his wisdom with Irma, she finally finds the courage to face the darkness head-on.

Tiny Irma: The Strange Girl is a moving tale about a little girl who learns to chase away her darkness by being true to who she is. Anna Iris tells an emotionally captivating story with a powerful message about identity, love, and self-belief. Although a children's tale, Iris touches upon some serious issues, such as depression and anxiety, that, unfortunately, don't discriminate with people's ages and impact even the youth. The author finds a way to integrate these topics into a beautifully crafted story that pulls at your heartstrings and makes you think. The colorful illustrations complement Iris's writing and make the reading experience even more immersive. A surprisingly poignant tale that I highly recommend to kids and adults alike. Easily one of the best books I've read this year.

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

Tiny Irma: The Strange Girl is a children’s book by Anna Iris. Irma lives with her grandfather, Old Bud, in a cabin in the woods, and even though she has a supportive caregiver, she starts to feel deeply depressed about her small stature. Darkness settles over her, and she refuses to leave the cabin until her grandfather carries her out one night while she sleeps. She wakes up next to a large river near their home and explodes with fury. Old Bud attempts to alleviate Irma’s anxiety by comparing the size of certain objects in the world and relating Irma’s soul to the potential for growth. At first, Irma rebels against his assertions, but then something wonderful happens to her as she makes a powerful choice.

Anna Iris dives right into the heart of depression in her book. Beautifully written and illustrated, the story speaks to the hearts of children who suffer from depression or issues with their self-image. The book could be used as a conversation starter for individual children or large groups as Irma’s suffering could help raise mental health awareness in youngsters. The author has chosen her words carefully, and even though the book addresses a sensitive subject, parents and caregivers can feel comfortable sharing the book with the young people in their lives. Children who can relate to Irma’s condition may feel comforted as they realize their feelings are shared by others. Tiny Irma is a great selection for young readers, and it would find a good home on individual or public bookshelves.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Tiny Irma: The Strange Girl by Anna Iris points out that we are all different. Even the world around us is full of variety. Did you know that “There has never been and there will never be created anything identical in this world? … we are all magical pieces of a divine puzzle. We were created differently so we could all fit perfectly.” Tiny Irma was born very tiny and she never grew. She lived with her grandfather Bud and they did many fun things together. One day, Tiny Irma allowed darkness to enter her soul and she hid inside their cabin to avoid facing the world outside. For someone so tiny, the big world was a scary place. This made her grandfather sad and he sought a way to entice Tiny Irma to embrace her difference, to understand how special she was even as such a small person.

Anna Iris’s picture book Tiny Irma is a sweet, compassionate story about differences. The author has woven a fascinating account, rather like a fairy tale, even beginning with the classic line: “Once upon a time in a land far away.” The plot follows Tiny Irma as she explores the world around her, confronts her fears, then shrinks away, until that wonderful revelation her grandfather shares with her. Tiny Irma is symbolic of how we all feel in this big, bold world. The author uses this character’s extreme size to emphasize her point that we are all small and we are all different. There are some powerful messages shared in this story and it will be enjoyed for generations. The book is beautifully illustrated.