A budding fashion maven learns the hard way what defines personal style.
Taking the metaphor of a fashion animal rather literally, Spires here concocts the tale of zany rodentlike Edie and her bird best friend, Andrew. For Edie, “the hall at school [is] her runway,” and she and Andrew delight in spending hours each afternoon choosing the next day’s outfits. Edie revels in the attention her inspired fashion choices bring her, but one day, when no one comments on her elegant scarf or fancy Italian shoes, and her “turquoise cashmere sweater” gains notice only after spilling mustard on it, Edie ups the ante and determines that her next outfit must stop the show. The more attention Edie’s ensembles earn, the more driven she becomes to outdo herself, much to the detriment of her friendship with Andrew and—quite unbeknownst to Edie—her reputation. When her most outlandish design (something of a cross between an accordion and a truck tire) results in her getting stuck in the school entrance, and no one comes to her aid, Edie finally understands that perhaps the most daring fashions are those that allow one’s true self to shine through. Spires’ digitally rendered illustrations place Edie and her friends on expanses of white space, drawing the focus to her fashion excesses while maintaining readers’ sympathy with Edie herself.
A heartwarming tale of self-discovery and friendship. (Picture book. 4-6)