Childhood, Mixed-Race Hair, Myrtle The Purple Turtle, Self-Esteem

Myrtle the Purple Turtle: Book Review

Blogger Friends: 

I was moved by this post by Erin 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. 

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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.

Blog Photo - Layla reading Myrtle

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.

Blog Photo - Layla holding Myrtle

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.

 

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A Good Home, Children's Books, Myrtle The Purple Turtle, New Books, Self Accetpance

#LoveYourShell

 

Blog Photo - Myrtle Love your shell

From my first day in front of the cameras at CBC TV (Canada’s public broadcaster) to now as an author, I have often squirmed at pictures of myself.

Blog Photo - Cynthia
Photo by Arna Sloan

So, of course, I agonised about posting a new profile photo on Facebook recently. What could I choose that represents who I am? 

Unlike my  more sophisticated author photo, the photo below is me without the fixin’s — unvarnished, no makeup.

“Look at my weird eyebrows!” I wailed to myself. “And my eyes look so tired and wrinkly!”

Then my inner “Myrtle” took over. 

I overcame my fears about looking not quite good enough — and published  the photo because it felt like me.

Photo - Cynthia without makeup
Photo by Hamlin Grange

My friends loved it. Even my hairdresser Lorna replied — for the first time ever — to my Facebook page.

My daughter Lauren says it’s a reminder to “Love Your Shell”.  Love what makes you different; love what makes you you!

Meanwhile, Myrtle the Purple Turtle will be published on October 9 — that’s just days away. The responses from previewers and blogger friends have been wonderful. I’ve never had this happen before a book was published.

Myrtle the Purple Turtle Cover

The print version of Myrtle will be officially on sale on October 9. Here’s the preorder link for the Kindle listing.

As we get closer to the big day, Lauren and I had this thought:

We invite you to share a photo or story about what makes you YOU, using the hashtag #loveyourshell. Whether it’s you in the garden in your sweatpants, in the kitchen, hanging out with family, curled up reading a book, walking the dog – if it’s you being you, please share it! I believe when you #loveyourshell you give others the courage to love themselves, too. We can all use a little self-love. 

Thank you and — Love your shell!