I Had a Favorite Dress

Posted by on Dec 1, 2011 in Early Learning, Integrating Knowledge and Ideas, Michigan Author, Vocabulary | 1 comment

As the season of present-giving draws near, I’d like to mention two books that not only make great gifts, but also talk about the value of making the most of what we have as well as recycling. I Had a Favorite Dress written by Boni Ashburn and illustrated by Julia Denos is a terrific twist on Joseph Had a Little Overcoat.The little girl in the story has outgrown her favorite dress, but her crafty mom uses it to make a cute shirt. When the girl outgrows that, mom uses it to make a tank top, etc. I won’t spoil the ending, but it comes full circle beautifully, making it clear that creativity can help us take minor tragedies and turn them into something wonderful. And not only is it eco-considerate, it even teaches the days of the week! Woohoo, Boni Ashburn and Julia Denos! Purchase “I Had a Favorite Dress”


After reading I Had a Favorite Dress to your kids, compare it with the Caldecott-award-winning story, Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback. Both stories talk about taking an article of clothing that’s either worn out or outgrown and turning it into something else. Comparing and contrasting the two books will hit the Common Core State Standard of Integrating Knowledge and Ideas and inspire lots of higher level thinking. After all the analytical thinking fun is done (Venn diagram, anyone?), give your students scraps of fabric, scissors, glue, etc., and encourage them to make something from a bit of what looks like nothing much. Encourage everyone in your life to take their old, worn, outgrown clothing and either make something new or donate the items to charity. In the words of Boni Ashburn: “Make molehills out of mountains!”

For more information, visit boniashburn.com, juliadenos.com, or simmstaback.com.

One Comment

  1. You. Are. Brilliant.

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