A review of “Magnificent!”
Cynthia Davis is is the founder and Chief Executive of diversity and inclusion consultancy firm, BAME Recruitment, as well as the Chair of Pop Up’s board. Here, she reviews Magnificent!, one of our 10 Stories to Make a Difference. The book, by Laura Dockrill and Ria Dastidar, is a life-affirming rhyming poem about embracing the new kid in school.
Magnificent! begins as a story of difference, of desperately trying to squash one’s own individuality and blend into the background – fears and doubts we are all undoubtedly familiar with. The tale weaves through these concerns and reveals their absurdity. Through beautiful illustrations, we see the futility of just trying to ‘fit in’. Strangeness and differences are celebrated in Magnificent! as tools to transport us to new places and reach new heights.
As we travel through the playground, we see the main character battle with insecurities within, which begin to boil to the surface. As they overthink, worry, and overcompensate around other people, we are reminded of how universal these feelings of social inadequacy can be. Magnificent! communicates brilliantly the need for the differences that exist in all of us. Whether this is down to where we come from, how we look or how we communicate with others, we are shown the joy that comes from embracing our unique quirks and reaching out to those who are struggling to find their place in the world.
Magnificent! teaches the importance of empathy with one another, discovering the ways we may be different but also how in many meaningful ways, we are all the same. Laura Dockrill leaves us with a powerful message, communicated so simply: we must learn to take joy in our own differences and others in order to become our magnificent selves!
Books hold so much power of influence over us as we evolve and find our own way in the world. It is crucial that young people and children are exposed to stories like this one that celebrate diversity of thought; through their themes, illustrations and the authors behind them.