Cheerful Independence: Odd Velvet

Saturday, November 17, 2007.

Odd VelvetAuthor: Mary Whitcomb
Illustrator: Tara Calahan King (on JOMB)
Published: 1998 Chronicle Books (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0811820041

Wide-eyed grins and peppy, skewed perspectives bring to life an upbeat school yard story that provides a reassuring example of independent thought, acceptance and unwavering self-worth.

You can find more great children’s books about independent thinkers here.


Comment by Alison

December 2, 2007 @ 4:05 pm

After hearing this podcast I immediately ordered this children’s book. I love the message and values that it conveys, in addition to your take on the text and its illustrations. The idea of loving oneself regardless is an important message at any age. Validating yourself rather than waiting for others to validate your actions is a life long lesson with great importance. Celebrating independent thinkers is a rare topic for children’s books. This one does it with such grace and truly disrupts any notion of normality.

Comment by Courtney Vintch

December 4, 2007 @ 6:50 pm

I listened to this podcast in a very timely manner. I was recently asked to analyze the story of Cinderella in one of my graduate classes. The thing that struck me the most was the idea that Cinderella relied on other people to bring her happiness. I think that this sends a very negative message to kids, especially young girls. It is refreshing to find a book about a girl who is an independent thinker and who can enjoy being herself for who she is. I love that Odd Velvet does not need other people to accept her in order to find happiness in her life. I have never read this book, but I certainly plan on seeking it out. Thank you for introducing this book to me!

Comment by RaeAnne Thompson

December 4, 2007 @ 10:05 pm

I think this book looks critically at the social dimension in schools that can be hurtful to a student if they realize they are not treated the same as the other students. A lot of students can relate to Velvet, weather it is being just a little different or very different from other students. This book is helpful in classrooms where students are not too accepting of other students who live life in their own way. I think students who beat to their own drum will be affirmed by this book, and those students who are the social ring leaders maybe a little more appreciative of people and their differences.

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