Tallulah is not supposed to get dirty. Or talk loudly. Or make a mess. She isn’t that kind of girl. Tallulah can’t wear jeans or sneakers to school or keep her hair down or do any of the other things that the other kids do every day.
According to her parents, Tallulah is special and that makes her different. But Tallulah doesn’t want to be different. It’s hard to have fun or make friends when everyone is busy telling you the things you can do because you’re different.
When Max, the new boy in school, stands up for Tallulah (and assists with a risky pug puppy rescue) Tallulah starts to see that sometimes being different can be okay. And most of the time the best of friends like you just the way you are in Presenting . . . Tallulah (2010) by Tori Spelling* and Vanessa Brantley Newton.
There are a lot of books about being different learning that it’s okay to be yourself even if that might mean being a little silly, or weird, or not mosterly. Some of them are quite bad using cliches and heavy handed writing to convey their message while ultimately creating major issues in the story.
Presenting Tallulah has none of those problems. This was a delightful story about a little girl many kids can relate to. Maybe not everyone goes to school in a limo, but who hasn’t been told to be quiet and not get dirty? This story captures that (and Tallulah’s rather . . . opulent . . . . lifestyle) without making it a big thing. Tallulah is who she is and, as she learns, that’s okay. I liked that instead of beating readers over the head with this message, it’s just at the core of the text.
Newton’s illustrations are also fantastic. The style is reminiscent of illustrations by Lauren Child (of Charlie and Lola fame) which probably means a similar medium (that I am unequipped to identify) is being used here. It’s no secret that Tallulah is based on Tori Spelling. And Newton captures that while combining broad strokes and line work to create intricate illustrations that bring Tallulah’s world to life.
Presenting Tallulah is sure to be a fun addition to any story time with simple, short sentences and a well-paced plot. Hopefully this charmer won’t be the last to feature Tallulah, Max and Mimi.
*With contributions by Hilary Liftin who is apparently a ghostwriter. I could get into who actually “wrote” the book or the recent number of celebrities putting pen to paper. But I’m not going to because this book deserves better and is more than able to stand on its own with or without is celebrity author.
Possible Pairings: Bark, George by Jules Feffer, Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer and Scott Magoon, For Pete’s Sake by Ellen Stoll Walsh