Review: I Like Old Clothes by Mary Ann Hoberman

i like old clothes

I Like Old Clothes by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Patrice Barton

Celebrate reusing clothes along with this book’s radiant narrator.  She’s a little girl who simply loves old clothes, especially those that come from other people.  She wears them for dress-up, but also on just regular days.  She loves clothes with patches that used to be too-good for play and are now just right.  There are also some clothes that she changes a bit to make them her own.  It’s the faded, broken-in and comfortable clothes she loves.  Don’t you too?

Hoberman’s rhyming verse has a sweet playfulness to it that keeps the book from becoming heavy handed.  Instead it is about this girl and the reasons she loves to wear old clothes.  It’s persuasive and kindly done.  This book is perfect for children who wear hand-me-downs from relatives or siblings, but also for families who are buying used clothes to be more environmentally conscious. 

Barton’s illustrations are filled with soft colors and textures.  The entire book speaks to the ease and comfort of used fabrics.  On some pages there are buildings made from blue jeans, rules that run through the pages, and a general homage to reuse.

This book is as comfortable and cozy as my favorite old sweatshirt that I got from someone else when it didn’t fit them and I’ve had for 15 years.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Alfred A. Knopf.

Frank Cottrell Boyce Wins Guardian Prize

Frank Cottrell Boyce has won the 2012 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize for The Unforgotten Coat.  It was a book that according to the Guardian came about in an unusual way: it was commissioned for charity rather than for commercial purposes.

“It wasn’t a commercial book at all – it came from a very different place,” he said. “The Reader Organisation promotes reading to all kinds of different groups, from kids with difficulties to alcoholics, and they were looking for a book which would cross all the groups. They found it very difficult to find, so I wrote this as a gift.”

The Guardian Prize is given out by other writers, making the award all the more special.