I was moved by this post by Erin L. Taylor on Facebook and wanted you to read it. I asked her permission to share it here. Erin and her family live in Southern Ontario.
I’m so honoured to have had the chance to review the book, “Myrtle the Purple Turtle”, by Cynthia Reyes. As an educator, and mother of young children, I really appreciate when I find a book that speaks to important social issues that our children should be aware of and taught about appropriately.
Having children of mixed race, I want to ensure that they embrace their unique qualities and are proud of who they are and who their parents are.
My daughter Layla has spent many mornings shedding tears over the fact that her hair is dark and curly. She wants straight, blond hair like most of her friends. We try to explain to her that her hair is what makes her unique!
A few months ago a lady came up to me and asked about Layla’s hair. She made comments about how she feels bad for her, for having hair like “that” and how much she must hate her curly hair. I was in complete shock! Not only were her comments inappropriate, but she also said them in front of Layla. These comments were very hurtful to a young child’s developing self esteem.
“Myrtle the Purple Turtle” is a wonderful story about a turtle who is ashamed of her colour. Myrtle was being made fun of for being a purple turtle, not a green turtle. The story takes you on a journey of the feelings Myrtle goes through after being ridiculed. In the end, she has friends that help her come to the realization that she is a beautiful, unique turtle, and should not be ashamed of who she is.
Thank you very much, Erin.
Note to Layla from Cynthia:
Layla, my dear, you are beautiful and unique, as is your gorgeous hair. When I was your age, my hair was big and bushy and not easy to comb. When I got older, my friends envied my thick, shiny hair! It was beautiful all along, but I didn’t know it when I was little. #loveyourshell.