I Had a Favorite Dress

( 5 )

Overview

Open up a fresh and stylish story about growing up and keeping hold of your favorite memories. As the year passes, the narrator’s favorite dress goes through a series of creative changes, from dress to shirt to tank top to scarf and so on, until all that’s left of it is a good memory. Assisted by her patient and crafty mama, the narrator finds that when disaster strikes her favorite things, she doesn’t need to make mountains out of molehills—she “makes molehills out of mountains” instead! Structured around the ...

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Overview

Open up a fresh and stylish story about growing up and keeping hold of your favorite memories. As the year passes, the narrator’s favorite dress goes through a series of creative changes, from dress to shirt to tank top to scarf and so on, until all that’s left of it is a good memory. Assisted by her patient and crafty mama, the narrator finds that when disaster strikes her favorite things, she doesn’t need to make mountains out of molehills—she “makes molehills out of mountains” instead! Structured around the days of the week, the story is also illustrated to show the passing of the seasons, a perfect complement to the themes of growing older and keeping hold (and letting go) of special mementos.

Praise for I Had a Favorite Dress
"A spunky story about adjusting to change with creativity and style. Tailor-made, so to speak, for the Etsy generation of DIY enthusiasts.” –Publishers Weekly

“Everyone is smiling in the buoyant confections created by illustrator Julia Denos—including, it’s fair to say, young readers looking at them. Endearing picture book.” –Wall Street Journal

“What could have been yet another example of kindergarten consumerism instead becomes one of resourcefulness and resilience.” –New York Times

“Denos’s multimedia illustrations reinforce the narrator’s vibrant personality and the amazing transformations of the dress while capturing the action and emotion of the story. This book is sure to capture the imaginations of would-be seamstresses; children who can’t bear to part with a favorite item; and those who want to reduce, reuse, recycle.” –School Library Journal

“Breezy in style, they smartly stitch each scene of alteration as the not-so-little girl sashays through the days of the week and the seasons. A charming interpretation of an old story that will speak to young fashionistas.” –Kirkus Reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a spunky story about adjusting to change with creativity and style, a young fashionista loves her salmon-pink dress with its striped bodice and ruffles, wearing it every Tuesday, her favorite day of the week. But one day, the dress is too short, so Mama, dressed in her own boho-stylish clothes, works some refashioning magic, "And snip, snip, sew, sew... New shirt, hello!" When the sleeves get too tight, Mama turns it into a tank top and later a skirt, which the girl wears every Friday, her new favorite day-for the moment. Readers should enjoy the beloved dress's transitions (including incarnations as a scarf and a pair of socks), which are vibrantly conveyed through Denos's (Dotty) mixed-media collages composed of hip colors, jazzy patterns, and delicate pencilwork. Ashburn's (Over at the Castle) prose is shot through with loose internal rhymes ("And my new cool-for-school skirt looked just right with my favorite tights! I wore it one Friday and it felt just right"), giving the story a buoyancy to match its heroine. Tailor-made, so to speak, for the Etsy generation of DIY enthusiasts. Ages 4-6.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
A little girl has a favorite dress that she wears always on Tuesday because that is her favorite day of the week. One day it is too short but her mother tells her not to worry and "snip, snip, sew, sew, new shirt, hello!" The new ruffly shirt is just perfect to wear on Wednesday (her new favorite day) until one day it becomes too tight. Her clever mother and her handy scissors finds creative ways to use the ever shrinking fabric (a tank top, scarf, socks) until all that is left is enough to make a hair bow. When it is chewed into tiny scraps by a mischievous puppy, the little girl has her own inventive way of remembering what was once her favorite dress. This is a story that is not only original but engaging. The spirited child with her ever changing favorite day of the week to correspond with each new clothing item and her endlessly creative mother are a perfect duo. The whimsical mixed media pictures in pastel hues feature a very fashion savvy child and always keep her peach colored outfit in the forefront. A nice mother/daughter share, especially if mom is one who sews. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—When the unnamed narrator's favorite dress is suddenly a size too small, she is not a happy camper; she wears that dress every Tuesday, which is her favorite day of the week. Then her mother transforms the too-small dress into the perfect shirt. As the child's favorite day of the week changes so does her garment as she grows out of it. It becomes a tank top (no tank tops allowed in school), a skirt (skirts are out), a scarf (gets stuck in a door), socks (one lost), a hair bow (chewed up by puppy), and, finally, a picture of the original dress by the narrator herself. Through all these transformations, the youngster learns that change doesn't mean the end—just something new. As her mother likes to say, "Make molehills out of mountains." Some of Ashburn's text is playfully placed in and around the art to good effect. A variety of font styles is used, including cursive, bold, and italics, and the word "sew" is actually depicted with stitches. Denos's multimedia illustrations, a combination of collages, watercolors, and graphite and colored pencil artwork, reinforce the narrator's vibrant personality and the amazing transformations of the dress while capturing the action and emotion of the story. This book is sure to capture the imaginations of would-be seamstresses; children who can't bear to part with a favorite item; and those who want to reduce, reuse, recycle.—Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH
Pamela Paul
The drawings have a D.I.Y. looseness, evoking paper dolls and fashion editor "inspiration boards"…What could have been yet another example of kindergarten consumerism instead becomes one of resourcefulness and resilience.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781419700163
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 158,754
  • Age range: 4 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Boni Ashburn is the author of Hush, Little Dragon and Over at the Castle. She lives in Houghton, Michigan, with her four children. Visit BoniAshburn.com. Julia Denos is the acclaimed illustrator of Dotty, by Erica S. Perl. She lives in Quincy, Massachusetts. Visit JuliaDenos.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 4 of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 1, 2013

    This wonderful book teaches many lessons; recycling, design, cre

    This wonderful book teaches many lessons; recycling, design, creativity, character development and diversity. It uses wonderful language; mountains and molehills declared, distraught, overwrought just to name a few. It also introduces days of the week and seasons. The illustrations, by Julia Denos bring sewing, clothing, seasons and children to life.  We love this book and recommend it for classrooms, silent reading, after school programs and libraries. This African American girl and her mother are a treasure in themselves. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    The illustrations in this book are beautiful and the story is ve

    The illustrations in this book are beautiful and the story is very cute. This book is a must for anyone with a "girly girl" at home!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2011

    Highly recommended - please check it out.

    My 6 year old granddaughter just loved this book. I had to read it to her over and over and then she got the idea that she might have a favorite dress that was too short on her..... It was a delightful story

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 4 of 5 Customer Reviews

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