I'm a seamstress and own several sewing machines (including an embroidery machine and serger) so I definitely know my way around machines. My 6 and 5 year old girls have been asking me to learn how to sew for ages and a couple months ago they saw a cheapy battery operated Hello Kitty sewing machine in a store and BEGGED me to buy it for them.... of coarse I said no because I didn't want to waste money on something I knew would break sooner, rather than later. I knew Janome made a "high quality" Helly Kitty sewing machine so I talked to my mom about it. My parents decided to buy this as a gift for my girls. It's a very sturdy machine about 3/4 the size of a standard sewing machine. It does have a vertical bobbin case which I'm not accustomed to so I did have to break out the owners manual to figure out how to insert the bobbin - took about 2 minutes to figure it out. The manual is easy to follow and perfect for someone who is a novice to sewing and sewing machines. A previous poster mentioned there is no stitch length selector on this machine... while she is right, the machine comes with various stitch length stitches - so you don't need a stitch length selector. There are three straight stiches - the first one is about 2.5mm, the second one is about 3.5mm, and the last one is about 4.5mm - the same applies to the zigzag stitch. The smallest setting for the zigzag stitch is very small and is a borderline satin stitch - so this can easily be used for appliqué work (just another fun thing for the little one learn). While the machine comes with a buttonhole attachment and buttonhole stitch (basically just the smallest zigzag stitch) - I wouldn't exactly recommend it. It works, but it's not the greatest. So, when my girls get to the point they're sewing something with buttons - then we'll likely be doing the buttonholes on my "fancy" sewing machine. Honestly, there are a handful of cheaper Brother sewing machines that come with more stitch options - however, the likelihood that a young girl is going to need more than a straight and zigzag stitch is very slim. You might as well spring for this "girly" sewing machine which they will LOVE... should they outgrow this machine you can always resell it or pass it on to family/friends. Janome is a high quality company/machine (they also make Kenmore sewing machines). Therefore, you can rest assured you're going to get a high quality product! This is perfect for the young girl/teen in your life!