Official Review: Wimpy by Christina Rondeau

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Mallory Whitaker
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Official Review: Wimpy by Christina Rondeau

Post by Mallory Whitaker »

[Following is an official review of "Wimpy" by Christina Rondeau.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Cotey is nervous about going to school at the start of third grade. He's smaller than everyone else, which leads to a whole slew of problems, like being picked last for kickball and being called wimpy. His teacher and mother are concerned about his self-esteem, and that's why his mother signs him up for a karate class. Will karate help him become more self-confident? Will the other kids finally stop calling him wimpy?

Wimpy, written by Christina Rondeau and illustrated by Mike Motz, is a 42-page children's book. It's most suitable for children in elementary school, second grade and up.

This book is meant to be empowering, and I think it succeeds. The author's note at the beginning is honestly just as motivational as the story itself. We see Cotey transform from a small child who sees himself as wimpy into a small child who is confident, even when he fumbles. I thought that putting him in a scenario where he's not instantly successful helped send the message home. Formerly, he might have shown great despair and shame in this particular situation, but instead of running away or being hard on himself, we see him engage in positive self-talk and try again. I enjoyed how the book shows that perseverance and hard work contribute to one's self-esteem.

The book is set up with one page of text followed by a full-page illustration. These illustrations are colorful and detailed, with Cotey's adorable dog hiding somewhere in each image. I don't know what font was used, but I really like it; it has the child-friendly feel of Comic Sans MS but is more aesthetically pleasing. The language is simple. The only words children might not be familiar with are those associated with karate, like "sensei," "ghi," and "dojo," but they are explained in the story.

I only came across two minor errors, and they didn't detract from my reading experience whatsoever. The only thing that I didn't really like was the background colors. It would change from sky blue to white randomly. The contrast between the text and the white background was particularly stark after reading a page with a blue background.

Regardless, that's a minor issue, and it doesn't stop me from giving this empowering book 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend this book to parents who want to learn more about how martial arts can benefit their children; I'd also recommend it to kids who are interested in martial arts. If your child struggles with self-esteem (particularly if it's from being smaller than their classmates) or you would like to teach them more about perseverance, I would highly recommend this book to you. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who is uncomfortable with their child reading about karate or children sparring with one another.

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Post by Miller56 »

Thanks for the review. This sounds like a great book for those who struggle with fitting in and being small. My children are all small and often are teased about their size. They have all found that being good athletes empowers them.

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Post by MsH2k »

Mallory Whitaker wrote:
14 Dec 2019, 18:50
We see Cotey transform from a small child who sees himself as wimpy into a small child who is confident, even when he fumbles.
I love that statement. Some things you can change and some things you can’t. The cover of the book depicts a bit of girl power, too! Thanks for a great review!

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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

As a mom of a child this age, I will add this book to my list for sure. It seems to address common issues of being a school-aged kid and offers some sound strategies. Thanks for the great review!

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Post by kandscreeley »

I love the premise behind this book. I hope he's able to gain some self-confidence. Sounds like it's perfect for kids. Thanks.
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Post by Frances019 »

This sounds like a great book! I'll keep this in mind for when I have children.

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Post by LiLeaBrand »

Sounds like a great book for kids with an invaluable lesson. Thanks for an awesome review!

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Post by Rayasaurus »

This book sounds like an important, empowering read for smaller children. I'm glad it was so good. Thank you for the review!

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Post by Nisha Ward »

I like that the author uses karate to build Cotey's confidence. While it does teach you how to fight, in my experience it's more about perseverence and discipline, which can definitely help kids like him.
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Post by Amy747 »

This is a story i can really relate to and im sure alot of kids can too.

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