4 out of 4 stars
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Finding Lisa by Kathy Halliday Johnston is a children’s book that follows Lisa on her journey to finding herself. After moving to the city from Durham, Lisa finds it difficult to make friends. As a result of her loneliness, she reinvents herself into what she thinks the city girls want her to be. However, everything she does seems to have the opposite effect as she still hasn’t made any friends after the third week of trying.
Because of her frustrations, she cries herself to sleep under the cherry tree by her window. Lisa wakes up as a fairy. As a fairy, she hopes it isn’t quite as difficult to make new friends. Still, no new fairy friends visited her. However, she spots a group of fireflies, ladybugs, and caterpillars. She decides to make friends with each group. She then approaches the fireflies, pretending to be one of them and is rejected when they find out. She does the same thing with the ladybugs, and the result is no different. She now has one more chance with the caterpillars; what does she do? Pretend to be someone she’s not? Or be herself? After the outcome of her episode with the caterpillars, she wakes up under the cherry tree with some valuable lessons.
I usually have high standards when selecting a children’s book. One important criterion I consider during this selection process is the lesson that the novel seeks to teach and how significant it is to the general growth of the child. That said, I am pleased that the author completely justified this requirement. It was a joy to see that this book sought to teach children the importance of being themselves. I think this is a trait that has eluded most people nowadays. With this book, readers would learn that they are important, special, and loved just the way they are. I think this is the first step to shaping a world void of pretense.
I also liked that the author used simple English that would be easily understood by children. Additionally, it was refreshing to see the colorful illustrations that were included throughout the book. I think these pictures are important because they make readers feel refreshed while reading. Another advantage of these illustrations is that they capture the attention of the children and make them more interested in the story. For example, when I showed my nine-year-old niece some of the pictures in this read, her interest was piqued, and she insisted she read the book with me. I have read this book to her two times more, which is a testament to how much she enjoys it.
There is nothing to dislike about this book. The author also did a good job in terms of storytelling. The book editing was done professionally; I found no grammatical or typographical errors throughout the text. As a result of how much I enjoyed reading and how significant I found the lessons to be, I have the pleasure of rating Finding Lisa a perfect 4 out of 4 stars. This book would appeal mostly to children between the ages of 8 and 13. Even if this is a children’s book, I also think people who struggle with their identity can benefit from it.
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