Betty Lou Blue (Pavilion) Review

Betty Lou Blue (Pavilion)
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Have you ever been teased at school? Do you know someone who has been teased at school? Well, who hasn't! That's the beauty and universality of "Betty Lou Blue," by Nancy Crocker (illustrated by Boris Kulikov).
Usually kids are teased at school because they have red hair, or they wear glasses, or they're slightly weird, or, let's face it, for any old reason. Betty Lou's reason is unusually unusual--she has especially large feet. Here's the story:
"Betty Lou Blue had the world's biggest feet.
Whackety, thwackety, flappety feet.
The other kids laughed
when she whappeted by.
'If those feet were wings,' they would yell,
'you could fly!'
'If those shoes were boats,
you could float for a year!'
But whackety-flap, she'd pretend not to hear."
Despite the fact Betty Lou is suffering, Crocker's verse is snappy, "whackety" fun to read aloud.
Betty Lou's mother tries to reassure her daughter, telling her everyone's perfect, "yes, even you!" But, Betty Lou is too wise for maternal affirmations--she knows better.
One day, however, Betty Lou's lot changes. It snows in the city and all the children head out to sleigh in the park. Unfortunately, a number of them are buried in the snow. Who can help? Why a little girl with feet as large as snowshoes.
"She knew what to do.
It was really a cinch--
On top of the snow,
without sinking an inch,
She stood each kid up
on the world's biggest feet
And walked each one out
to the newly plowed street."
"Betty Lou Blue" is an "everyone has a place in the world" tale, expertly told. Boris Kulikov's illustrations are gorgeously unique, combining Russian and urban influences (the city looks to be a combination of Brooklyn and Moscow) and a warm color scheme. His children look like animated wooden dolls, with large eyes and startled expressions. Kulikov is an illustrator to watch.

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