*What Wesley Wore was sent to me for the sake of review.
As a child I always loved to read, I was attracted to books that were vibrant in colour and had what I would perceive to be an interesting story, when I look back on these stories I often realise how they lacked substance and that I was only ever learning that being a princess and finding a husband were the two most important things in life – and if you read on here often, then you’ll know that I honestly do not believe these things to be true, so when Owlet Press sent me a copy of What Wesley Wore to give to Harriet to read, I was super into it.
What Wesley Wore is a story about a weasel that likes to dress in funky outfits, throughout the story you get to see him wearing multiple snazzy looks which Harriet loved, he stands out against his follow weasels and has fun doing it, but you quickly learn that all of the other weasels are jealous of Wesley and like to make fun of him and make him feel bad about himself.
Yes, this is an anti-bullying children’s book. Before long you’re learning that Wesley likes to stand out, but because he gets put down so much about his snazzy outfits, he decides to throw them all away and become a normal weasel just like everyone else.
As an adult reading this to a toddler, I was feeling a punch to the gut myself. I felt sorry for Wesley and even Harriet was saying “Oh no!” as she noticed Wesley crying into his fathers arms, she too was feeling sympathetic. This is something that this book easily manages to achieve, both adult and baby are feeling sorry for the main character, you want him to be himself and stand out against the crowd, Harriet loved the illustrations of Wesley wearing his favourite clothes and she was visibly upset to see that he had taken them all off.
As I carried on reading the story to her, things quickly take a turn for the better when Wesley continues to wear his favourite funky clothes with thanks to words of encouragement from his father, and gets noticed by a group of other snazzy outfit wearing Weasels, he leaves the forest he lives in to go and be with those more like him, leaving the other weasels feeling sad and empty without him around.
By the end of the story the child reading the story or having the story read to them has learned to be sympathetic and also to be understanding of those around them, this isn’t just another substance-less children’s book because it’s teaching your child to accept everyone around them, to be understanding of the fact that everybody else loves different things and that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover because the way that somebody looks and chooses to dress, doesn’t make them weird or uncool.
The main takeaway from this children’s story though is that it ages well. Harriet can continue to look at and read this book as she grows older and continue to take the lesson that the book is aiming to teach with her into her every day life, the story is told well, it takes itself seriously whilst teaching the child reading it not to take everything around them so seriously, and I think it has every right not to take itself seriously, because it’s teaching children a valuable lesson.
I really think that those of you, who like me, have an enthusiastic toddler in their life, need to go out and get this book. The illustrations are fun and the lesson is invaluable. I wish that I had a book like this floating around when I was growing up!