Thomas Nelson provided me with a copy of The Beauty Book by Nancy Rue, (author of “The Lily Series”), to review. This is a book meant for seven- to eleven-year-old girls, and deals with issues like hair and skin care, make-up, body piercings, tattoos, (?!?), and weight. It’s written in the style of a magazine, with lots of real questions and answers, quizzes, and journaling activities, (called “The Lily Pad”–cute).
I really wanted to like this book. The idea of a book that deals with these issues from a Christian appeals to me as a parent. Unfortunately, I wasn’t happy with the implementation, as the idea falls flat, in my opinion. While it does explore real issues that girls may face, I think that it could also end up putting ideas in girls’ heads, (especially girls on the younger end of the suggested age range). For example, weight…this is something that isn’t even on my seven-year-old’s radar, and while it might be for some, I don’t want to start her thinking that this something she needs to worry about. The same could be said for any of the other issues explored–frizzy hair, bad skin, etc. At such a young age, I don’t think girls need to be told that these are matters of concern, (it’s different if the girl brings it up herself, as a matter of personal concern), and they’re not even issues that every girl will face before the onset of puberty.
The other thing that I really dislike about this book are the “Talking to God About It” sections. I really hate the idea of forced prayer like that for any age, but especially for young children. I really don’t want my chid praying a prayer written by a person I don’t know, for a purpose I don’t really “get.” And the fill-in-the-blank nature of many of the prayers is just annoying…prayer shouldn’t be treated like one of the quizzes in the book, or a test, or anything other than what it is–praying to God.
Maybe this book will work for some families, but certainly not for ours–I can’t recommend it at all.