Saturday, September 21, 2019

Review - Macie's Mirror

Macie's Mirror
by Adam Ciccio
illustrated by Gertie Jaquet
Date: 2020
Publisher: Clavis
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Everyone at school loves Macie. But when a new girl comes to the class, Macie suddenly feels less special. At home, she asks her mirror what's wrong with her. The more she looks in the mirror, the sadder Macie gets.

A sensitive story about insecurities, jealousy and loving loved. For ages 5 years and up.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Macie is popular at school. She's a perfectionist, and everyone seems to like her. But then a new girl shows up and Macie is sort of forgotten. She thinks maybe she's not that great. As she sadly looks in the mirror, the mirror tells her (yeah, the mirror talks) that when she wakes up the next day, she'll be perfect. In the morning, Macie rushes to check out her new and improved self, only to notice a green spot on her face. As the day goes on, she gets more and more spots in various colours. When she questions the mirror, it tells her that it's only showing her what she sees. Her dad comes to check on her, gives her self-esteem a boost, and tells her the most important thing is that she loves herself. She goes back to school, where things are okay, and then she throws away the mirror.

I don't get it. If she expected to see a perfect version of herself, why did she see spots? What does that have to do with the new girl getting all the attention? I mean, maybe I'm overthinking something that's so obvious that I can't see it, but it just doesn't make a lot of sense. And I feel like the new girl is really underutilized; sure, we see her and Macie sitting together at lunch on the last page, but we don't really see much resolution to the conflict. (That last page is weird, anyway. The book suddenly decides it wants to rhyme.)

The illustrations are quite cute, and could have really worked had the story been better. But there's just so little to it, and what is there doesn't make a ton of sense. Yes, Macie was projecting her fears onto herself and seeing ugly spots where there weren't any. But are five-year-olds going to understand that her subconscious was creating visual hallucinations because of the way she was projecting onto her classmates? (I mean, the other kids didn't even say anything! All of Macie's insecurities were based on her own perception of events.) This book might work for a college-level psychology course, but I think it's going to be a bit much for kindergartners.

Thank you to NetGalley and Clavis for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.33 out of 5

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