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IN MY NEW YELLOW SHIRT by Eileen Spinelli


by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Hideko Takahashi

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: July 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8050-6242-4
Publisher: Henry Holt

A young boy gives his imagination some major exercise as he tries to convince a friend that his aunt’s birthday gift of a yellow shirt is just the cat’s pajamas. “That’s no fun,” squawks his friend, as the shirt is unveiled. But the boy suggests that the yellow shirt transforms him: into a duckling or a taxi, a lion or a daffodil. Some of Spinelli’s fantasies work better than others: the golden caterpillar will probably not strike a chord with readers, but being turned into a golden treasure and hidden in a dark attic works wonders; a “thumping” banana is downright perplexing, yet the firefly in the dramatic indigo nightscape is terrific. Making an effort for simplicity, Takahashi’s artwork comes across as curiously static—big glassy eyes and stiff limbs—which she tries to enliven by using odd perspectives and supplying lots of visual cues for the story. Spinelli tries valiantly, but it’s simply not the easiest thing in the world to get all hepped up about receiving clothes as a birthday present, and anyway, who needs a yellow shirt to pretend to be a trumpet or a tennis ball? (Picture book. 2-5)