The Girls’ Book of Glamour – Sally Jeffrie (2011)

The Girls' Book of Glamour

Since I have a regular side gig of reviewing children’s books, I happened to notice this title at the library the other day, and curious as to how one so young “becomes a goddess”, I checked it  out. Very pink cover. English spelling. Hmm. Obviously going to be about nail polish and clear skin, but what else would be suggested as characteristics of a powerful mythical female deity? Hoping it might mention some things like “maths and science are good for you and so are lots of sports”, but being realistic at the same time, I opened to the first page.

However, before I had even started reading, I was interested to see just how well used the book itself was – someone before me had folded down every page that s/he considered to be vital information, so the book actually ended up looking like this:

The Girls' Book of Glamour w pages turned down

Which I actually thought was really sweet as if such a tome had been around when I was about ten or so, I would have picked this up with relish and learned some more girl-y things. So I was sympathetic to the previous reader about the enthusiasm for this information. So what sort of things did this previous reader want to remember for future reference?

It’s a long list, but topics included some of these:

  • How to look your best in a photograph
  • How to lip-synch successfully
  • How to clean your make-up brushes
  • How to grow out your bangs
  • How to blow-dry your hair perfectly
  • How to escape a crowd of fans (!)
  • How to put on a fashion show
  • You probably get the idea…

What I liked about this book was that it was upfront about what it was going to cover, subject-wise. It didn’t claim to be anything apart from giving advice on how to be a goddess, which, to tweens (and around there), I would think, revolves around looks and image (a la Hollywood starlet). It wouldn’t have hurt to talk about school smarts or sports every now and then, but it did cover lots of other tips, and gave recipes for how to make your soap and lotion, give yourself a manicure, have clean hair and how to walk in high heels without falling over. (I read this one with interest as I still can’t do that and have given up on that particular skill set.)

I think if you took this book in the spirit in which it is offered – to help a young person learn how to feel confident in their looks which could then help them in other areas of life – it’s a good publication. I could see some parental units having a cow for the encouragement for their kid to wear (light) make-up, but again: if it’s read in the same light-hearted spirit in which it is offered, this would be a good read for someone who’s not quite sure about things like fashion and looks etc.

Would have liked a few more references and pics showing girls of color etc., who were a bit obviously left out, but for most of the skills mentioned, they would work with kids from most backgrounds who had an older sibling who was interested in that sort of thing.

This would be good for any young Diva-in-training (or even someone older who always been curious about how to French-braid their hair but didn’t know how – like me!)

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