Too Perfect: Trudy Ludwig
By Amanda Lynch, The Children’s Book Review
Published: May 8, 2009
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Tricycle Press (May 2009)
What To Expect: Perfectionism, Self-Acceptance, Family, School
Maisie works hard in school, but no matter how hard she tries, she only gets B’s and C’s. Despite the fact that her mother constantly reassures her, “Maisie, you are perfect just the way you are,” Maisie really wishes that she could be like Kayla. Kayla always gets straight A’s, she’s a star on the soccer team, and her hair is perfect and straight (unlike Maisie’s, which is red and frizzy). However, when Maisie and Kayla have to work together as partners on a project, Maisie begins to realize that there are disadvantages to being “too perfect.”
I really liked this book. There is a lot of pressure on kids today to be the best: at school, in sports, even in their appearance. The underlying message here is that you need to work toward being the best you can be, but striving toward perfection is often debilitating. Maisie’s mom is portrayed as being extremely supportive of her daughter, constantly reassuring her that she loves her daughter for who she is.
The book itself also contains discussion questions at the end of it, and suggestions to help out children who have let perfectionism hurt their self esteem. It also contains a list of recommended readings for young children, tweens, and adults. I think we can all take a reminder from Maisie’s mom: “Being happy doesn’t come from being perfect. It comes from trusting and accepting who you are–mistakes and all.”
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