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THE LITTLE RED DRESS by Jonathan Joseph Kirkus Star


A Kids Book About Fashion

by Jonathan Joseph ; illustrated by Silvan Borer

Pub Date: Jan. 9th, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-578-97045-5
Publisher: Little Red Fashion

A dress recalls her life—from design to fashion show and museum—in this debut rhyming picture book.

After inviting readers on a journey through fashion, the narrator asserts: “I’m the little red dress, I’ll explain more with a rhyme.” The dress begins as a designer’s idea in a sketchbook. But she soon moves through all the stages of creation: finding the right fabric, getting dyed, and experimenting with dress forms and patterns until everything is just so. When the dress is worn by a model on the runway, the garment seems fit for success. But despite instant popularity, the dress soon lands in the archive. Then one day, she’s purchased for a museum as a vintage dress. In this series opener, Joseph deftly navigates the fashion process in lively poetry, making each step feel personal and important. The dress’s dismay at being archived and subsequent joy at becoming a fashion icon in a museum create empathy for an inanimate object, which is always depicted realistically in Borer’s beautiful, stylish illustrations. The mixed-media images make use of ink and watercolor in a way that captures the dress’s fluid movement. The minimalist faces leave room for the imagination to fill in the details. Though the majority are women, the diverse characters show the variety of people working in the fashion industry. Readers who appreciate biographies of fashion luminaries like Coco Chanel will enjoy this inventive spin.

A stunningly illustrated, realistic look at the fashion industry whimsically narrated by a dress.