Children's Book Review by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com
Working Title Press (2012).
Big, bad Reggie loves to scare Millie. It’s fun. But not for Millie. It’s frightening!
Her friends each have a special something to make them feel brave. So why doesn’t she? Or does she?
A positive book for young children about friendship, self-esteem, and overcoming fear.
Cox has done a fine job of producing a dramatic tale that's perfect for reading aloud. It would also make a great reader's theatre piece. Kids will relate to Millie and her fear of big, bad Reggie, and cheer for Millie when she happens on a way to solve her dilemma. And they'll love joining in with all the fascinating sound words Cox has added to the story.
I reviewed another Miller book in Rufus the Numbat. His amazing paper craft is a Special Something too! I love the way his 3D paper sculptures convey so much warmth, texture and vibrant detail. The double-page spread of Reggie terrifying poor Millie with her shouted "DINNER TIME!" will give young listeners a delicious frisson of fear.
Millie's Special Something would make an excellent choice for librarians, parents and teachers who want to discuss bullying with kids. Check out Janet MacLean's excellent Teacher Notes which definitely add value to the book. I like the way the story presents both viewpoints. Millie feels bullied - she's terrified of Reggie. Yet Reggie has her human side too. (Well, as human as a dinosaur made of paper can be!) Deep down, it seems Reggie wants to belong and to play too. (My own children's picture book, Monster Maddie, also relates to this theme of bullying.)
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