Eliza is a very small child, all skin and bones, yet she finds the courage to stand up to bullies who torment Lainey, a new girl at her school. I really liked the author's approach to the issue of bullying, focussing on the shame of a bystander. Eliza talks to her mother about what to do and is given guidance, but it is Eliza herself who comes up with a solution. After challenging the bullies, Eliza asks Lainey, "Can I play with you?" The question demonstrates respect for Lainey - it would have been an entirely different balance of power if Eliza had invited Lainey to join her instead.
Francois Thisdale's beautiful mixed media illustrations add to the magical quality of this remarkable picture book. Highly recommended for K - Grade 3.