by Max Lucado,
illustrated by Maria Monescillo
Tommy Nelson, 2009
This rhyming picture book by well-loved author, Max Lucado, deals with the subject of self-esteem in children. How can kids know that they are special and significant when their peers may be telling them otherwise?
In the town of Stiltsville, those who are deemed worthy receive the opportunity to wear stilts. A poor, ordinary boy named Ollie, has never been chosen for this honor, though he longs for it with all his heart. At last the day comes when, by some miracle, Ollie's name is called. He is thrilled, until he comes crashing down. Only Jesus is able to make him understand that his true significance is not dependent on the assessment of others, but on what God thinks of him.
While this is a valuable concept for anyone to appreciate, I don't know that this story will convince children. The story seems contrived and the problem too easily resolved. The author also fails to maintain perfect rhyme, which makes it awkward to read in places. The illustrations are cartoonish and colorful, but somehow old-fashioned.
I am left with the same feeling I get from reading some Robert Munsch books: once you've made a name for yourself in the publishing world, anything you write - good or bad - will be put into print.
(This book was supplied by Tommy Nelson as part of their book review blog program: http://brb.thomasnelson.com/)