This book is funny, delightful, beautifully-simply, illustrated and sure to provide much needed conversation with naysayers. Our five-year-old enjoyed saying “No!” along with the rabbit, but, by the end of the book completely understood that he himself acted like the rabbit many times–not giving things a chance, or saying “no” to something he actually wanted.
Guided by the gentle hand of her grandmother Bella comes to realize that accomplishment takes work and perseverance; even Bella’s siblings get in on the lessons!
Ella’s daddy doesn’t feel well. He stays in bed all day, and doesn’t smile any more. When Ella wonders why, her daddy explains that he has depression.
From her vantage point on the roof, Anita watches the airplanes high overhead, and imagines they are dragons, that she, the princesa, will finally have to face. Anita and her family are leaving the Dominican Republic for a distant land where there will be baths with hot water, regular electricity, and a real dryer. But Anita’s abuela won’t be coming, and Anita will miss her beautiful island terribly. However, Anita is a valiant princesa, who conquers her fears, and meets the fearsome dragons who will fly her to her new life with courage and grace.
This gentle book will offer encouragement both to young readers to tell their stories, no matter how sad, and to all of us to be better listeners and story friends.
WHAT IF WILHELMINA is a charming book that works on a whole bunch of levels.
This is an absolute gem of a book that readers of all ages will adore. After all, it passed the teenager test. Highly, highly recommend.
In 2021, to talk about a Caucasian couple living in South Africa (the name of the country doesn’t even make it into the book), without any nod to how these folks came to be there (colonialism) is in itself quite a misstep.
The book is delightfully quaint, a beautiful story about being brave, showing kindness, the joys of friendship, and the idea that if you are truly kind, you need not buy friendship.