I can tell my daughter all day long how beautiful I think that she is and hope that it sticks with her and helps her self-image now and in the future. Unfortunately, later in life, I know that she will face times where her self-esteem is going to be challenged. I want to prepare her as best as I can, early, to help reinforce in her the feeling of positive self-worth. Therefore, I want to read her books that have a message of confidence and self-worth. I want her to see characters, just like her, that believe in themselves no matter what. I think that sometimes kids can relate and connect to characters in books better than “real” people. It is like a friend that is always safe and available to them whenever they want to visit. In books with the theme of self-esteem, children can see situations play out with characters that they grow to love and trust. They watch as they stand up for themselves, appreciate their own uniqueness, and persevere. I strongly suggest incorporating books with the theme of self-esteem into your home library. One of my favorite confidence-boosting books is entitled “Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon” By Patty Lovell.
At the beginning of “Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon,” we meet Molly Lou Melon that is “the shortest girl in the first grade.” She also has buckteeth, an interesting voice, and can be very clumsy. All along, her grandmother tells her to stand up for herself and to let her unique style shine. Molly Lou ends up having to move away from her grandmother and to a new school. There she is met with a bully, Ronald Durkin, who makes fun of her and calls her names. She doesn’t let the teasing get to her and she continues to follow her grandmother’s advice.
I have to mention the illustrations by David Catrow. They add to the charm of this book. The characters all have crazy hair and funny faces. Molly Lou Melon is adorable.
“Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon,” like sooo many other picture books, can be used with a large age range. I read it to my three-year old, but I have also read it with my fifth graders. With my daughter, I talk about how Molly Lou has special qualities that make her special. With my fifth-graders, I talk about self-esteem and bullying.