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DIFFERENT LIKE COCO by Elizabeth Matthews


by Elizabeth Matthews & illustrated by Elizabeth Matthews

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: March 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-7636-2548-5
Publisher: Candlewick

With an economy of storyline and a strong sense of style, Matthews distills the contradictory life of Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel into a neat and fashionable package. Her pen-and-ink drawings have energy and panache, and she makes limpidly clear just how revolutionary Chanel was. She brought comfortable clothing for women into a world full of Edwardian corsets; she boldly stole from menswear; and she never married. Her difficult early life is not glossed over but is simplified—mother dies, orphanage, convent school, her own shop underwritten by the one (British, wealthy) boyfriend mentioned. Young readers will love the sweep and detail of the images, the vividness of the characters’ expressions and the humor on almost every page. The endpapers are covered with quotations from Chanel: “Luxury must be comfortable; otherwise it is not luxury.” (timeline, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)