Review Blog

Dec 16 2016

You are oh so horribly handsome by Eva Dax

cover image

Ill. by Sabine Dully. Starfish Bay Children's Books, 2016. ISBN 9781760360139
(Age: 4+) Image, Friendship. Gregor the monster is unsure of how he is perceived by those around him. He is exceedingly loud and very strong and can run extra fast. But one day sitting alone in his house with a mirror, he looks at his sticky out ears and big nose and asks himself whether he is handsome. He asks each of his friends in turn to find the answer. His mother tells him that his squint is more handsome than anyone else's. Dad tells him that he has the cheesiest, stinkiest feet in the world, while Granddad tells him that no one else in the world has crooked, yellow, rotten teeth like his. On each page Gregor asks someone what he is like, and each time he gets a list of superlatives about his appearance, and by now the readers will have laughed out loud at the words used to describe the monster, Gregor.
By the end of the book when Gregor looks again in the mirror and lists all of his attributes, he also recounts what each of his relatives and friends did when he asked them his important question. Dad threw him into the air, Mum kissed and cuddled him, Granddad sat him on his lap, he was kissed and cuddled, by all he asked, so he knows that he is really handsome.
This is a charming story of how people are valued, not by appearance but by who they are. The book will provide a jumping off point for discussions about body image, or how people show their affection, or family and friends and the strengths they show each individual. First published in New Zealand by Deep Creek Press in 2015.
Fran Knight

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