Three girls help their baby sister get the clothing she covets.
In the opening scene, Mama tells her four daughters that they’ll go back-to-school shopping. Eldest sister Ava wants a princess dress, Isabelle wants a purple one, Charlie Ann has her heart set on a cowboy vest, and Poppy just says, “Polka Dots!” With the exception of Charlie Ann, who appears to be Asian, the family members seem to be white, and no other parent is mentioned or depicted. Were some or all of the girls adopted? Is Mama a single parent? We can’t be certain, but the casual depiction of a nontraditional family is notable. At the first stop, each of the sisters successfully finds just the right shoes for her ensemble, but, alas, there are no polka-dot shoes for Poppy. Three stores later, each sister has her desired outfit—except for Poppy, who isn’t seduced by Mama’s suggestion that “stripes can be very nice” and is left cold by her sisters’ encouragement. But when she falls asleep at night, the sisters are inspired to decorate white clothing with polka dots. Poppy is delighted the next morning, and Mama is surprised and only a little bit chagrined at the mess. Throughout, Schwartz’s signature cartoon style and cheery palette match the light mood of the text.
A spot-on depiction of sisterly love. (Picture book. 3-6)