Three years ago, I went to visit my aunt and uncle in Florida and we drove to Orlando over the weekend to visit Walt Disney World. It was one of the best weekends of my life. I challenge any kid in the world to top my level of excitement when it comes to all things Disney. I rode and sang along to ‘Its A Small a World’; I cheered when Mickey Mouse came strolling down Main Street USA; I queued up to take my photo with the Disney Princesses and I shed a tear during the fireworks display. I loved it.
Walt Disney once said that the trouble with the world is that too many people grow up. We lose our sense of wonder; we start to become cynical and lose our faith in people. We don’t believe in magic anymore (I mean, it probably doesn’t exist but isn’t it amazing to think about the possibility?), even Santa has lost his luster. We work 9-5 jobs that barely motivate us, we get bogged down with our day-to-day routine and life becomes a series of to-do lists. We lose our imaginations.
This is what Helena Duggan is trying to tell us in her book called ‘A Place Called Perfect’. Violet Brown moved to Perfect (yes, that’s the name of the town) with her parents and she immediately knows something isn’t right. Everyone is the same: robotic, smiling faces all obssessed with being perfect. Little by little, her parents start to change and she seems to be the only one concerned. Then she meets Boy and learns about the town’s dark secrets and the cost of too much perfection.
This is technically a children’s book but so what? Harry Potter started out as a children’s book and look how that turned out. Besides, I see nothing wrong with reading children’s books. I love the simplicity; I love inhabiting a child’s mind even if its just for a little while because there’s something so pure about how a child sees the world. I think as adults we tend to overcomplicate things so that we lose sight of what really matters – joy, love, family.
The author is trying to warn us about the dangers of stamping out a child’s individuality. We should let children play, we should encourage them to imagine how things could be instead of telling them to be content with how things are. I think its a wonderful thing to grow up feeling like there’s infinite possibilities in the world. Most of all, I think Ms Duggan is trying to tell us we should allow children the freedom to be who they are.
I gave this book 3 stars because I felt like it could have been longer but that’s just personal preference. The plot itself is perfect and filled with just the right amount of intrigue and twists such that it can be enjoyed by both adults and children. I can imagine this to be a good bedtime reading material and it will certainly create a nice bonding moment between a parent and his/her child.
Enjoy this book fellow booklovers and don’t ever let anyone tell you we can’t read children’s books. Who says we have to grow up anyway?
Love, Blabbaholic! Xx