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WHEN ROYALS WORE RUFFLES by Chesley McLaren

WHEN ROYALS WORE RUFFLES

A Funny & Fashionable Alphabet!

By Chesley McLaren (Author) , Pamela Jaber (Author) , Chesley McLaren (Illustrator)

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Jan. 13th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-375-85166-7
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

McLaren and Jaber’s compendium of fashion facts is an A-to-Z exploration of the vagaries of style, ranging from the obscure to the absurd. More historical scandal sheet than alphabet primer, the saucy tidbits of information are geared toward older readers. The alphabetic arrangement functions more as a gimmick than a logical progression, forcing the entries to arbitrarily span centuries and continents; for example, moving from 1926 for “D”—as in Coco Chanel’s little black d<\b>ress—to 1796 for “E”—as in Josephine’s scandalous E<\b>mpire-style gown. While individual entries are intriguing and often amusing, the lack of continuity contributes to an overall sense of disorganization. McLaren’s witty gouache-and-ink illustrations are pure fun to peruse, with or without the accompanying text. Dedicated fashion buffs may enjoy this wry look at the fashionable life, but younger readers will find it a challenge to maintain an interest, while older ones may be put off by the picture-book format. (Picture book. 8-12)