Theo: a book recommendation

5 Jan

You know those children’s books that tell us it’s OK to be different? That we’re all unique and lovely caterpillars, about to turn into even lovelier butterflies, admired and cherished by all?

If you’ve read a book to a child in the past decade, then I’m assuming you do. “You’re OK just the way you are” is a popular theme in children’s lit. But as someone with experience being a kid, I’m not so sure. Maybe I was OK just the way I was to those who loved me, but I vividly recall how not OK I was in the eyes of some of my peers.

Theo, written by Kenny Lim and illustrated by Grant Gilliland, is a welcome evolution in children’s lit. Lim understands the world of kids well enough to know that differences matter–differences like having a third eye. His protagonist knows this, too, so he does his best to pass as two-eyed.

And you can predict what happens next. But after Theo’s big accidental reveal, Lim doesn’t just use his authorial omnipotence to make it OK to be different; he shows kids what they can do to make it so.

It doesn’t require eloquence or mind control. It doesn’t require adulthood or an immunity idol–although it doesn’t hurt to have some peer status. What it takes is compassion and the willingness to stand up–if not for someone else, then for yourself. Because we’re all different to someone at some time or another.

I’ll leave it at that and encourage you to buy the book (www.theo3eyes.com). For your kid, someone else’s kid, the local library or yourself.

One Response to “Theo: a book recommendation”

  1. David Sudarma January 5, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

    I own the Hardback and iPhone edition of this book. I’ve really enjoyed reading it to my son. He loves the pictures and I really appreciate the moral and conclusion at the end. We need more books like this that really teach kids great values in a fun way.

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