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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Sometimes it’s hard to accept who we are and what we look like. Wilhelmina is a pretty little fairy. But she’s different. She has only one eyebrow that stretches across her forehead. It’s heavy and makes flying difficult. And all the other young fairies laugh at her. All she wants is to be and to look like all the other young fairies. She tries to trim the eyebrow in the middle, so that it looks like two, but it just grows back. Her mother tries sprinkling sparkles on it to make it glitter, but it doesn’t hide the single bushy brow and it doesn’t make it any lighter. She still can’t fly very well with that heavy weight on her forehead. Meeting a friendly, blind owl, she learns something very important: that beauty is found deep within a person, in their hearts, not in their visual appearance.
Lisa Reinicke’s picture book story, Wilhelmina’s Wish, touches on a difficult topic, not just for children, but for people of all ages. We all tend to judge ourselves by our appearances. And we believe that others also judge us by how we look. But the author’s wise old owl, blind as he is, puts things into proper perspective. The heart contains our true beauty. How kind and thoughtful we are as human beings defines us, not our visual characteristics, not our appearance. The story is told in rhyming verse, and the plot develops well in a manner that suits a young reader. The colorful illustrations are delightful and help move the story along. A simple story with a powerful message.