The Hundred Dresses

The Hundred Dresses

4.2 65
by Eleanor Estes, Louis Slobodkin
     
 

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Wanda wears the same faded blue dress to school every day -- yet she says she has one hundred beautiful dresses at home, "all lined up." The other girls don't believe it, and when Peggy starts a daily game of teasing Wanda about the hundred dresses, everyone joins in. Maddie, Peggy's best friend, goes along with the game, but she secretly wonders whether she can find… See more details below

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Overview

Wanda wears the same faded blue dress to school every day -- yet she says she has one hundred beautiful dresses at home, "all lined up." The other girls don't believe it, and when Peggy starts a daily game of teasing Wanda about the hundred dresses, everyone joins in. Maddie, Peggy's best friend, goes along with the game, but she secretly wonders whether she can find the courage to speak up in Wanda's defense. It's not until Wanda fails to come to school one day that her classmates learn the truth about the hundred dresses -- and Maddie and Peggy learn the meaning of kindness and generosity of spirit. Eleanor Estes's heartfelt story, a Newbery Honor Book and a beloved classic for more than sixty years, offers readers of all ages a timeless message of compassion and understanding.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Classic titles return in time for the gift-giving season. For a new generation of readers, Eleanor Estes's long-treasured title, The Hundred Dresses (1944), illus. by Louis Slobodkin, appears in its 60th anniversary finery with newly "restored color" in the artwork. Wanda faces mockery at school, both because of her "funny" last name (Petron-ski) and her claims that she has 100 dresses at home even though she wears the same one to school each day. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
A classic children's small novel, this book has been reissued and consequently, more children will know the story of Wanda Petronski and her claim of having a hundred dresses "all lined up in my closet." Wanda is the girl who lives with her father and brother in the part of town described as no place to live. She wears the same dress to school every day and has a last name unlike the other children in the class. The story of Wanda and her hundred dresses is really Maddie's story as she relates how she and friend Peggy wait for Wanda on the way to school, "to have fun with her." This eerie phrase is written three times before the teasing game is described in chapter two. The structure of the story begins with Wanda's absence from school, flashes to the past to recount how Wanda was treated by the school children, and then returns to the present as Maddie and Peggy work to make amends. Maddie's inner thoughts make up much of the book as she wrestles with her guilt and is conflicted by her fondness for friend Peggy. Maddie realizes how easy it would be to find herself as the next object of derision. She helps the reader consider the consequences of not standing up against wrongs as it becomes apparent to all that Wanda is a unique and generous person. Written in 1944, Estes may have given the children of that time a view of prejudice, but Maddie's growth in compassion is a major lesson of the book. It is a Newbery Honor book worthy of a reissue. The language of the book is terse yet engaging, the soft illustrations provide suggested images and mood, and the theme is as meaningful today as it was 60 years ago. A letter to readers by the author's daughter is a perfect introduction to thereissue. 2004 (orig. 1944), Harcourt. Ages 6 to 10.
—Jacki Vawter, Ph.D.
From the Publisher

"Sensitive, intuitive, restrained . . . will take its place with the books that endure."--Saturday Review

"Written with rare intuition and pictured with warm sympathy and charm."--The Horn Book

"No young person . . . will ever forget it."--Book Week

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780152052607
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/01/2004
Edition description:
1-Simul
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
28,014
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 8.38(h) x 0.37(d)
Lexile:
870L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Will take its place with the books that endure."—Saturday Review

"Written with rare intuition and pictured with warm sympathy and charm."—The Horn Book

"No young person . . . will ever forget it."—Book Week

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