So thank goodness for those rare books you find with miniature heroines who achieve confident and happy lives while retaining a sense of humanity and without the accessories of crowns and dippy princes.
One of those surprise finds at the JMRL book sale, Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell with fun pics by David Gatrow both delights my daughter’s love of a teeny-tiny people and heartens my desire for book characters who learn to embrace their differences and individuality.
Molly Lou, we learn, is very small, has buck-teethed, tends to be clumsy, and has a horrible singing voice. But her grandmother has told her to stand tall and sing with all her heart and do everything with gusto, “and the world will sing with you.”
When Molly Lou moves to a new town and a new school, an older boy starts bullying her, making fun of her “problems.” Molly Lou keeps on doing things with all her might – and her efforts shine to the point where the boy’s taunts wilt. She may have buck teeth, but she can balance pennies on them; she may be small, but it her stature helps her duck defenders and score a touchdown.
At the end, Molly Lou writes a thank-you letter to her grandmother, who, we finally see, is as small as Molly Lou herself.
What a great lesson to learn – take whatever you have and instead of labeling them ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or ‘normal’ or ‘ugly’ or what have you – just use them to do and be completely yourself.
Even I feel like standing a little taller with an inspiration like Molly Lou Melon.