Recently I accessed a digital version for review on Edelweiss of A Girl Like You by Frank Murphy and Carla Murphy with illustrations by Kayla Harren. This is a beautiful companion to A Boy Like You (2019) that challenges girls to be strong and caring and to find the people and things that make them feel brave and bold.
Frank and Carla skillfully address many female stereotypes of today, like “mean” girls, body image, and the expectation that girls should be apologetic. Without being directive or didactic, they encourage girls to be brave and take action. They remind them that true beauty is revealed in their words, actions, and relationships.
I found the use of adjectives such as “thoughtful,” “smart,” “radiant,” and “magnificent” to be uplifting and empowering. I was particularly drawn to the suggestion that girls should take care of their hearts. Girls who care about others often forget the deep emotions that can overtake their own minds and hearts. Here they are reminded that it is okay to talk to someone, or engage in an activity that helps ease the pain.
Kayla Herron’s inclusive illustrations are so engaging. I returned to the book many times just to soak in all of the detail. I believe readers of all backgrounds will find themselves in the words and illustrations of this book.
A Girl Like You, published by Sleeping Bear Press, is available July 15.