Review posted September 23, 2014.
Candlewick Press, 2014. 32 pages.
2014 Sonderbooks Stand-out: #11 Picture Books
Ginger’s birthday party is coming up, and she wants to invite everyone in the class except Lyla Browning. Lyla Browning is weird. She even brought a tarantula in a pickle jar for Show-and-Tell. But Ginger’s mother says it’s all the girls or none of the girls, so Lyla gets an invitation, too.
At the birthday party, we see, in subtle ways, Lyla behaving more nicely than any of the other girls. And she brings Ginger a present she made herself – a tiny bird’s nest with two speckled, malted-milk eggs.
And so we see the blossoming of a friendship, one which we can see will continue at school.
This book is lovely in the way it shows that sometimes weird can also be quirky; unusual can also be creative; and not-like-everyone-else can also be thoughtful and interesting.
And the message is never stated outright. But you can see it in the blossoming of this friendship between two girls, and every reader can see that Lyla Browning may be weird, but she’s going to make a very good friend.