Monday, March 10, 2008
Pink by Nan Gregory
You might think of pink as a mere colour, but in the hands of a skilled author, Pink by Nan Gregory is a treasure. Vivi may not have much, but she has a loving family and a modest home. Still, Vivi wants more. She wants to be part of "the Pinks," a group of girls for whom money is no object. Pink is perfection in Vivi's mind, and she longs to be a part of that perfect world; a world symbolized by an expensive doll she sees in a shop window. Her pragmatic father who struggles to make ends meet tells her that "You can't have everything," but that doesn't stop Vivi from coveting the doll which she saves for. However, the doll is sold to one of "the Pinks" leaving Vivi so devastated that this is how she describes the trudge home from the store. "It's hard to go fast when your heart is a stone."
Fortunately, Gregory doesn't leave readers with a stone heart, but there is no pat ending here. What she does give readers is a gentle reminder that children, just like adults, must learn to survive disappointments and that happiness need not be tied to material possessions. Impressively, Gregory does all this at a child's level, in a mere 32 pages and without being preachy. Hooray for Pink, hooray for superb writers like Nan Gregory.