Dress-Up Day

Blanca Gómez. Abrams, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-4410-5
Gómez (Bird House) captures the joys and sorrows of primary school, illustrating with friendly, doll-like characters. A class costume party creates waves of happy anticipation: “Mom made me a fantastic rabbit costume, and I helped.” Working in flat collaged shapes with varied textures and crisp edges, Gómez shows a light brown–skinned child standing on a stool in a white bunny costume as their mother tacks on the tail. But on the day of the party, the unthinkable happens: “I woke up sick. So I had to stay home.” Why not wear the costume the next day, the child’s mother suggests. Though the protagonist is excited to “hop to school,” the costume reveal doesn’t go as planned upon arrival: a spread shows the small, round, puzzled, potentially mocking faces of the child’s schoolmates, who vary in ability and skin tone. But the unexpected appearance of another costume changes things, and the chance occurrence works its magic on the whole class. There’s an emotional change on almost every page of this picture book as Gómez presents the possibility that moments of chagrin don’t last forever, and that disasters can morph into delight. Ages 4–8. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/06/2022
Release date: 03/01/2022
Genre: Children's
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