Can you feel it? That low-grade buzzing of excitement and anticipation? It happens every mid-late summer at our house. It is back-to-school time! School for our kids doesn’t start for three more weeks, but I know for many of you, the day is just around the corner, or perhaps school is even under way. With two young daughters, the build up to going back to school is filled with lots of fun going shopping for new school supplies like cute new folders, pencils, and markers. However, the most anticipated back-to-school preparations are shopping for new clothes and shoes. I can’t say I blame them. There is just something perfect about starting a new year in new clothes. Everything is shiny and new. Being from a smaller town, I still fondly recall specially road trips to Spokane to do my back-to-school shopping. Just as for me, my two girls spend a great deal of time and energy finding the perfect new clothes, and even more time getting that first day outfit just right from head to toe.
That thrill, and even angst over just what to pick is so delightfully captured in the latest picture book from author Sue Fliess and illustrator Mike Laughead, A Dress For Me!. The book opens with Little Hippo’s mother pointing out that school is starting soon, and she needs a new dress. Hippo happily takes on the shopping challenge as she tries on lots of dresses that are just so delightful to her. Soon, however, she becomes overwhelmed and a bit frustrated by the choices and even limits from her mother. Will Hippo ever find that perfect dress, or will her and her mom have to call it a day, as even the best shoppers sometimes do? You’ll have to read it to find out!
Lots of choices I can see.
Will I find the dress for me?
Well-paced with rhyming text, this makes for a terrific read aloud. That rhyming and limited text format, accompanied by great picture clues, also make this an excellent choice for emerging readers. I love when a picture book presents little teachable moments about writing. Descriptive adjectives fill all the pages and become a great way to talk about attributes and why writers might use them. What exactly does snug or baggy feel like? Let’s brainstorm things that are sparkly or swirly. Mike Laughead’s cheery, jewel-toned illustrations include a variety of animals beyond the hippos, like giraffes, koalas, and even a roller skating mouse that readers will adore.
A Dress for Me! is a follow-up to Fliess and Laughead’s equally fun first collaboration, Shoes for Me! In this book, Hippo goes shopping for the perfect pair of shoes, and like in A Dress for Me!, she delights in the choices, but soon becomes troubled by just what to pick. It too has a great rhyming flow and fun illustrations to accompany it.
Both A Dress for Me! and Shoes for Me! are the perfect additions to any back-to-school preparations that may be underway at your house. May you and your little fashionista, find the perfect outfit like our Hippo friend!
With thanks to Sue Fliess, I’m thrilled to do a giveaway of both books! Please complete the entry form below. THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW DONE–thanks to all entrants!