Being the new kid in school is always hard. The Dirt Girl tells the story of Zafera and how she went from being an outcast to the most popular girl in school all while remaining true to herself. This vibrantly colored book shows children they do not need to change who they are in order to make friends.
Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of The Dirt Girl for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
The Dirt Girl | Children's Book Review
The Dirt Girl: About the Book
Title: The Dirt Girl
Written By: Jodi Dee
Illustrated By: Ed Espitia and Jenni Souiade
Zafera lives amongst nature and often likes to have twigs and flowers in her hair. She is comfortable playing in on the ground, in the dirt and likes bugs.
The other kids in school find her to be very strange, but Zafera is resilient and is able to become friends with her classmates without having to change a thing about herself.
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The most popular girl whispered to another,
The Dirt Girl teaches an important lesson, stay true to yourself no matter what.
Zafera was teased in school for being different but she smiled any way and did not allow any negative comments to get her down.
When it came time to celebrate her birthday she invited all of the children to her party, even those who teased her. This was very brave of her, it is possible the children could have responded to her invitation with a 'no',
Instead we see the other children go to her party in an effort to learn more about her.
Is it possible they only wanted to go so they could find more things to tease her about? Sure. But luckily they all learned more about Zafera and realized she was very special and befriended her.
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The Dirt Girl: My Thoughts
The illustrations in The Dirt Girl are vibrant and beautiful. Zafera's green eyes are very striking and her red hair is beautiful.
The Dirt Girl full page imagery which gives children a lot to look at, especially when we see the inside of Zafera's house!
This book does not rhyme (I always feel like I should mention this when talking about children's books) and is at times word-heavy.
However, I do believe this book will keep a pre-schooler's attention and I can see first and second graders enjoying it as well.
The questions I have about The Dirt Girl revolve around the lack of a parent/guardian representation in the story.
Who does she live with in this beautiful house in the woods? Does her parent/guardian know she is being teased in school?
Zafera appears to be a very resilient little girl however, being able to completely shrug off teasing in school may be a bit unrealistic (especially without the help of a parent/guardian). The children do not come off as too harsh, but they do make comments about her appearance which can be tough for kids!
The Dirt Girl can be used to start a conversation about bullying; why it is mean and how the children who teased Zafera were wrong to do so. It also shows children that a good way to deal with teasing is to just ignore it.
The Dirt Girl helps show children the importance of kindness and that they should have a willingness to learn more about someone who appears to be different than them.
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About the Author
Jodi Dee, M.Ed is a Mother & Author whose books, materials, and resources promote proper growth & development, self esteem & individuality, and social & emotional intelligence of all ages!
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