All the Faces of Me
by Laura Alary
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Pub Date 17 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 05 Oct 2023
Owlkids Books, Owlkids
A playful yet profound take on the phrase “I contain multitudes”
A little girl admires her nana’s wooden nesting dolls that sit side by side on the windowsill. They all look exactly the same: pink cheeks, frilly aprons, and big smiles—except for the tiniest doll, which is small and unpainted and looks like a raw peanut. The girl thinks the matching smiles of all the other dolls don’t feel quite right. After all, she has many different faces and feelings inside of her, and the dolls should too!
Starting with the peanut, the girl draws new expressions on all the dolls’ faces, from toothy grins to grimaces. But when Nana sees what her granddaughter has done, she’s furious and says the dolls are ruined. The girl disagrees. “If those dolls were me,” she says, “no two would be alike.” When Nana considers what her granddaughter is telling her, she slowly begins to understand. With a hug, and a warning to ask before embarking on any more art projects, Nana proudly returns the dolls to their spot.
This bright, uplifting story about honoring and acknowledging emotions also touches on communication skills, creative self-expression, and conflict resolution. Written with humor and honesty, it reminds readers that, just like nesting dolls, there’s more to us than meets the eye.