Every-Day Dress Up

Written and Illustrated by Selina Alko

“I used to only play princess until Mommy showed me pictures and told me stories of real, great women.” For me this book fails because it doesn’t really have those pictures and stories of real, great women that the girl is told by her Mommy to make her want to emulate them. What brief imagery and text is offered on each spread of this book does not give enough context or info on these great women for young readers to want to “dress up” like them or in some cases even to understand who they were or what they did (not even their full names). Young readers or listeners would need to be provided these stories separately as context for this book, and by the time they had received all those stories there wouldn’t be any reason to come back to this book as it doesn’t have much to offer beyond a criticism of girls playing dress-up as princesses. Much better than this book would be to find individual books about Amelia Earhart, Ella Fitzgerald, and the many other notable women just hinted at here (as well as others not mentioned here) and share those with young people. This book is great as an idea for an extended learning project or playtime activity but not so essential as a picture book.

Review by Joshua Whiting, Granite Library Media Program
Rating: ★★✩✩✩ (2 stars)
Interest Level: Grades K-3


Every-Day Dress Up
Written and Illustrated by Selina Alko
Alfred A. Knopf
32 pages
Release Date: October 11, 2011
ISBN: 9780375860928 (hardcover)

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