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Kathy Stinson. Illustrated by Heather Collins.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 1990..
30pp., paper, $4.95.
ISBN 1-55037-106-5 . cloth, $12.95. ISBN 1-55037-103-7. Distributed by Firefly. CIP.

Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 5-8

Reviewed by Patricia Fry.

Volume 18 Number 4
1990 July

Dress-up corners exist in every preschool program and in most Primary classrooms. And that's where this book belongs - to serve as inspiration and reinforcement. It would be fun for children to sort through the available costumes, choose some apealing attire and sit down and read or listen to The Dressed Up Book.

The artist and author teamed up to create The Bare Naked Book ¹, a popular choice with children and parents, and they've followed the same winning formula with this book. The illustrations are colourful and realistic, and dominate both pages. The text is concise, repetitive, and boxed in one corner of each two-page spread.

The dress-up focus moves over various parts of the body starting with hair, dress-up mouths, noses and ears and ending, much later, at toes. Each unit consists of questions. For example, the dress-up noses page asks:

What do you smell with a . . .
Lumpy nose?
Fire-breathing nose?
Not-by-the-hair-of-my-chinny-chin-chin nose?
You-must-not-tell-a-lie nose?

Each unit ends with the same type of open-ended question that begs to be answered:

And what do you smell with . . .
That nose?


And who likes to kiss . . .
That mouth?


And what do you hold in . . .
Those hands?

The ending is wonderful and encourages more imaginative play.

Mother opens the door to the dress-up area and the five children are frozen in various stages of costume changing and character acting. The text reads: "Do you like to be . . ." and then asks four questions. The final question is simply "Or . . . ?" The last word goes to artist Heather Collins with her painting of six people dressing up (the adult is lured into the childhood fun). This book is a must for any collection catering to a junior clientele. I would also recommend it as a prop for those classrooms lucky enough to have a dress-up corner!

Patricia Fry, Port Credit, ON.

¹ Reviewed vol. XV/1 January 1987, p.34.

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