Reviews for Ella Sarah gets dressed

School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

PreS-K-In typical toddler fashion, Ella Sarah has her own ideas about what she should wear and persists in her choices despite her family's suggestions. "Her father said, `That outfit is too fancy. Why don't you wear your yellow T-shirt with white shorts, and your tennis shoes?'" Ella Sarah replies with what becomes her refrain. "I want to wear my pink polka-dot pants, my dress with orange-and-green flowers, my purple-and-blue striped socks, my yellow shoes, and my red hat!" At the end, her equally "well-dressed" friends arrive for a tea party. The larger-than-life family members tower over Ella Sarah, with only their torsos and legs showing. The exuberant illustrations, "created using a variety of printmaking techniques," dance and tumble across the pages, adding emotion to her refrain. The vibrant yellows, oranges, pinks, and purples work together surprisingly well-Ella Sarah doesn't look as shocking as one would imagine. This should be a hit at storytime or for one-on-one sharing.-Linda M. Kenton, San Rafael Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

A junior Diana Vreeland in blue sheep jammies, Ella Sarah coolly surveys her open armoire and announces that she will wear "my pink polka-dot pants, my dress with orange-and-green flowers, my purple-and-blue striped socks, my yellow shoes, and my red hat." Family members try to dissuade her from an outfit that they deem too "dressy" or "fancy" or "silly" (the last comes from an older sister trying to pawn off some hand-me-downs). But Ella Sarah resists their admonitions and proves her sartorial instincts are "just right" when the occasion is a dress-up tea party with her friends. A gifted printmaker, Chodos-Irvine (Apple Pie Fourth of July) uses bright but well-modulated colors, sharply defined shapes and plenty of white space to give the pictures a strong graphic punch and convey a range of emotions. When Ella Sarah's ambitions collide with her mother's disapproval (however mild), Chodos-Irvine shows the confident girl's posture curving into a dejected "S"; when Ella Sarah reaches the breaking point, the illustrator depicts her fury by showing only Ella Sarah's hand on the left, with the toy cat she has thrown, flying across the spread. By conveying her heroine's perspective so convincingly, Chodos-Irvine makes the book's ending a triumph-and one that should strike a chord with dress-up fans everywhere. Ages 2-5. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

PreS. Young Ella Sarah is a kid with flair, and she has a special outfit in mind: my pink polka-dot pants, my dress with orange-and-green flowers, my purple-and-blue striped socks, my yellow shoes, and my red hat. Mom, Dad, and Big Sister offer alternate ensembles, complaining that Ella Sarah's outfit is too dressy and too silly, but Ella Sarah insists on her own choice and finally manages to pull everything on. Then the doorbell rings. In walks a crowd of Ella Sarah's young friends, dressed in equally flamboyant clothes, and the glamorous kids enjoy a tea party. With minimal words and her signature art marked by bright, bold prints, Chodos-Irvine perfectly captures a universal childhood struggle. Preschoolers will enjoy chanting along with Ella Sarah's often repeated list of clothing, and the illustrations create strong mood and movement with just a few opaque shapes, beautifully conveying Ella Sarah's gestures, from pre-tantrum stuffed-animal tosses to the wrestling war of getting dressed to her smug tea pouring at the story's end. Young children will easily see themselves in Ella Sarah's fierce defiance, and they'll delight in her gleefully bold fashion statement. A perfect read-aloud for the dress-up crowd. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2003 Booklist

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