Every-Day Dress-Up

Every-Day Dress-Up

by Selina Alko
     
 

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It's no secret that little girls love playing dress up, but the little girl in this book ditches her princess duds in favor of costumes inspired by great women in history.

Now dressing up is an adventure
When, every day of the week,
I am a daring new dame!

From Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to chef extraordinaire Julia Child to queen of

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Overview

It's no secret that little girls love playing dress up, but the little girl in this book ditches her princess duds in favor of costumes inspired by great women in history.

Now dressing up is an adventure
When, every day of the week,
I am a daring new dame!

From Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to chef extraordinaire Julia Child to queen of jazz Ella Fitzgerald, our protagonist pays homage to the women who came before her and imagines herself in their shoes. Maybe someday she'll inspire little girls with her own gown of greatness.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Alko’s empowering message is evident from the outset: “I used to only play princess,” says a girl seen reading on her bed with her mother, “until Mommy showed me pictures and told me stories of real, great women.” Taking aim at princess role models of the Disney variety (who readers will easily recognize on the posters in the girl’s bedroom, Alko (I’m Your Peanut Butter Big Brother) offers some replacement heroines—from real life—as the girl plays dress-up. On Monday, she’s Amelia Earhart with goggles and a cardboard plane; on later days, she glams it up as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Julia Child, and Frida Kahlo (complete with a “thick black brow” on her forehead); the inclusion of Ella Fitzgerald and ballerina Maria Tallchief reminds readers that singing and dancing aren’t verboten. Reminiscent of 2010’s My Name Is Not Isabella, it’s a well-meaning, if perhaps overly earnest reminder of girls’ potential, something Alko’s protagonist is well aware of: “hen I’m older, I hope to have my own outstanding outfit, so that little girls will sport costumes of me!” Ages 5–8. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews

A little girl's mom leads her from princess dress-up to real women in a brief tale that does not let its earnestness get in the way of the fun.

Some of the language is a bit awkward ("spinning like a diamond"? "a daring new dame"?), and the gouache-and-collage images, with their rubbery facial expressions and flattened perspectives, share that clumsiness. It's hard not to cheer, however, when on Monday the unnamed little girl puts on goggles like Amelia Earhart, on Tuesday sings like Ella (Fitzgerald), on Wednesday is Elizabeth the Super Suffragist and continues through the week with Scientist Marie (Curie), chef Julia (Child), ballerina Maria (Tallchief) and artist Frida (Kahlo). She ends hoping little girls will dress up likehersomeday. All this playacting is performed to an appreciative audience of friends and toys. The colors are bright and the textures amusing (Julia's fish is made of newsprint with a recipe for Hot Tuna Loaf Sandwich). It is good to see that ethnicity plays no part in whom the protagonist chooses to emulate. Biographies of the women named (each only a few sentences long) and a rather odd bibliography of picture books—andMastering the Art of French Cooking—conclude the text. Inspired little girls may be unhappy to see that the paper doll and outfits on the endpapers are pasted down, though.

In all, another happy antidote to the princess plague.(Picture book. 5-8)

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Lots of girls want to dress up as a princess, but there are plenty of other female figures that they can emulate. Mother tells stories of great woman and her daughter adapts the dress up time to pretend that she is "a daring new dame!" each day of the week. On Monday, she pretends that she is Amelia Earhart when she puts on goggles and hops into her cardboard airplane. Tuesday brings us the famous jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald. Patriotism is on the rise Wednesday when she pretends to be Elizabeth Cady Stanton, followed by Marie Curie on Thursday, Julia Child on Friday, Maria Tallchief on Saturday and on Sunday she is the artist Frida Kahlo. Her real dream is to one day become so important that kids will want to dress up like her. The closing pages offer brief biographies of all the women mentioned and a list of books that should inspire young girls. The paper doll cutouts on the inside and back covers may lead to problems, but librarians and teachers might suggest that they just be photocopied if kids want to play dress up with them. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
PreS-K—A little girl's mother tells her stories about great women in history, introducing a "daring new dame" each day of the week. On Monday, the child learns about "Amelia, First Lady of Flight" and dresses up in goggles and cardboard wings. On Tuesday, she is "Ella, Queen of Jazz," followed by Elizabeth, the suffragist; Marie, the scientist; Julia, the chef; Maria, the ballerina; and Frida, the artist. All are introduced in a fun way with minimal text. Humorous, detailed gouache and collage illustrations will hold children's attention and spark their imagination. In the back matter, thumbnail biographies of these women and a few other "greats" include small portraits. This picture book encourages girls to be creative in their dress-up play.—Margaret R. Tassia, Millersville University, PA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375860928
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
10/11/2011
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

SELINA ALKO is the acclaimed author-illustrator of I'm Your Peanut Butter Big Brother and B Is for Brooklyn, and the illustrator of the beloved My Subway Ride and My Taxi Ride. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their two children.

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