Mr. Taylor will make Pepper a very special dress for a very special occasion.
There are so many wonderful fabrics from which to choose in this old-fashioned shop. Mr. Taylor is meticulous and measures Pepper very carefully before they begin discussing choices. He shows her many fabric designs, offering tidbits of information about their origins and describing their intricacies. However, Pepper turns each one down, declaring that it is not suitable for a special occasion. Her reasons are often based on a literal interpretation of Mr. Taylor’s explanation. Tartans are used for clothing and bagpipes, but “Bagpipes are just TOO LOUD!” She rejects herringbone, houndstooth, argyle, toile, and more, before Mr. Taylor finds the perfect one. Then they sketch dress designs together and he sets to work with paper patterns, pins, and needle and thread. Her paisley dress complete, Pepper proudly wears it to celebrate Grandma’s birthday with tea and croquet in the garden. All that information about textiles could have been dry and didactic, but Kraulis keeps it lively and filled with giggle-inspiring double meanings and puns. The oil-and-graphite illustrations in varying tones of blues and browns are perfectly suited to the tale, which has an old-fashioned sensibility that will charm modern young readers. Pepper, her family, and Mr. Taylor are all white.
Sweet, inventive, and delightful. (sources) (Picture book. 4-9)