Freckleface Strawberry (by Julianne Moore, ISBN: 9780747593621) is an ordinary 7-year old girl, just like everybody else. Everything about her is “normal” – she is short just like other kids her age, she can ride a bike, just like other kids, she even looses her teeth just like everybody else. But there is one thing that is not quite “ordinary” – she has red hair and A LOT of freckles!
People always have something to say about her freckles, and even though it is not always meant as teasing, she gets embarrassed by them. She needs to make a plan – she needs to get rid of them, and fast! But no matter how hard she tries, scrubbing them and rubbing lemon juice on them doesn’t make them go away. So she carries out plan B – if she can’t make them go away, she’ll just have to hide them! She puts on long-sleeved clothes and a ski-mask. Her plan works! Nobody says anything about her freckles anymore! But nobody recognizes her under all that clothing, and ski masks are hot and itchy! Whatever will she do?
This is a lovely picture book that addresses self-acceptance, especially about things about ourselves that we can’t change. But it also fitted in beautifully in our support of anti-bullying week that kicked off today! So many kids are bullied or criticized just because they are different. The Foundation Phase students at Book Club Hour at Thorntree Preparatory School discussed what bullying is (they all had a very good idea about it!), why they were all wearing odd socks for the day, how Freckleface Strawberry was teased because of her freckles and how it could turn into bullying. The book opens various discussion topics, and captivates the attention of young readers.