“Once upon a time there was a little girl names Rosa who lived in a small town nestled against a lush emerald forest. She loved playing in the woods with her animal friends. They didn’t mind that she looked different from the other children—her head was shaped like a square.” –From the book
With school bullying on the rise, it’s no secret that children can be cruel—especially to children who are viewed as “different”. In Little Squarehead, Rosa learns to cope with the stares of adults and the taunts of children. Her sense of rejection keeps her isolated from others until one day she runs deep into the forest, and cries beside a glistening stream. “Why do I look so different?” she asks in despair. As her tears fell, a mist arises from the water and a sweet, musical voice comforts her, assuring Rosa that all will be well.
The voice beckons her to the edge of a crystal pool, encouraging Rosa to look at her reflection. Rosa is shown a vision of her true self that begins to transform how she sees herself—and eventually, how she sees others.
Rosa visits the secret pool three times, and the voice unveils three powerful gifts that Rosa has within her: courage, confidence, and compassion.
The author of Little Squarehead, certified psychotherapist Peggy O’Neil, is no stranger to prejudice: she’s 3’8” “little person” whose motto is WALK TALL – BE BIG ON THE INSIDE. With wisdom and verve, O’Neil conveys the powerful message that how we see ourselves can literally alter our lives. When we see our true selves—and our precious diamond heart—we act with courage, walk in confidence, and relate with compassion. This revelation can literally change our world, especially as children (and adults!) understand and embrace the message presented in Little Squarehead.
Artist Denise Freeman brings a uniquely personal touch to the story, weaving colorful paintings of 15 types of roses that grow in her neighborhood. There’s a key at the end of the book so you can find the different types of roses, as well as play Hide & Seek to find the clever images hidden throughout the book.
Celebrating diversity and promoting compassion, Little Squarehead delivers a timely message about beauty within—and how we can find it in both ourselves and others.
Note: this book was a finalist for ForeWord Magazine’s Best Children’s Book 2002.