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MY FOREVER DRESS by Harriet Ziefert


by Harriet Ziefert and illustrated by Liz Murphy

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: June 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-934706-45-9
Publisher: Blue Apple

A girl’s cherished party dress receives striking renovations through Murphy’s bright mixed-media collage. As each year passes, her grandmother revamps her favorite clothes, enhanced with pink leggings, green belt and knitted cardigan. When she dons each outfit, the child repeatedly asks readers: “How do I look?” As she learns the value of reusing resources, she hands her beloved dress down to her younger cousin. Patterned fabrics and descriptive papers accentuate the colorful surroundings, adding texture and pizzazz to the family home. The bold art lends cheerful flair to the straightforward narrative, and the cartoon characters, with their wispy limbs and rosy cheeks, exude a youthful energy. Unfortunately, the girl’s child-centered voice fails to reflect her maturation. When the story’s emphasis turns to recycling material, the child’s eager musings create an unnatural effect. “I like my old dress. It’s comfy and I want to wear it more. And I like helping the environment.” Though the creative focus on fashion excels, the narrative’s earnest delivery struggles in its authenticity. (Picture book. 3-7)