MAKEOVERS AT THE BEAUTY COUNTER OF HAPPINESS

Ilene Beckerman, Author, Ilene Beckerman, Illustrator . Algonquin $16.95 (128p) ISBN 978-1-56512-374-8

Beckerman, a grandmother of six, used to think "pretty girls had happier lives." It's taken her nearly seven decades and thousands of dollars in makeup and accessories to realize this isn't true. But the author of Love, Loss and What I Wore still struggles with her inner demons, which she chronicles here. She wants to teach her young granddaughters, especially 11-year-old Olivia, not to become preoccupied with externals. She employs funny, often rueful observations, unsent fan letters to movie stars and simple, whimsical drawings to underscore her familiar point: beauty comes from within. Oddly, though, Beckerman spends much of the book lamenting her looks and weight—and everyone else's. She shares her insecurities, she says, so women will realize that physical perfection isn't everything and ends her book with this note to Olivia: "I wish I'd known when I was your age... that I already had everything I needed within myself to be happy, instead of looking for happiness at the beauty counters of Bloomingdale's." This is a sweet, well-intentioned book, but its approach to women's lives is dated, while its proclamations (e.g., "life never turns out the way anyone expects") are obvious. Color illus. throughout. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/07/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
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Open Ebook - 127 pages - 978-1-56512-773-9
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