Reviews for Ella Sarah Gets Dressed
Booklist Reviews 2003 June #1
/*Starred Review*/ 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. ((Reviewed June 1 & 15, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Fall
Ella Sarah is determined to put on a wild, colorful outfit that includes her ""pink polka-dot pants"" and her ""dress with orange-and-green flowers."" Her family tries to change her mind, but Ella Sarah knows what she's doing; soon her friends arrive for a tea party, all wildly dressed up themselves. The agreeable story is illustrated with an attractive mix of patterns and colors. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring
Undeterred by her more decorous family, Ella Sarah insists on wearing a flashy outfit of her choosing. Happily, her friends arrive for tea wearing equally outrageous costumes. In this lap-sized board book version of the Caldecott Honor book, the illustrations retain their distinctive texture, color, and size. The heavy pages will stand up well to repeat readings. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2003 May #1
A very determined young lady knows precisely what she wants to wear. Ella Sarah is in her jammies (with a pattern of white sheep on bright blue) and announcing that she wants 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." Mom, Dad, and big sister have other ideas for her attire, but Ella Sarah repeats her desired outfit emphatically at each suggestion. When readers see her friends gathered for a tea party, it's clear that they all knew just what they wanted to wear--a riot of mismatched color and pattern. Chodos-Irvine uses printmaking for these fabulously patterned images, where wallpaper, rugs, and toys create wonderful rhythms. Ella Sarah's body language, which goes from determined to dejected to defiant to dogmatic, contrasts with the posturing of her parents and sibling, seen from Ella Sarah's point of view, heads cut off by the picture plane. A wonderfully realized artistic conceit with a storyline guaranteed to tickle the fancy of baby fashionistas and their families. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus 2003 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2003 April #4
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) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2003 July
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 Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.