Fred Gets Dressed by Peter Brown

Cover image for Fred Gets Dressed.

Fred Gets Dressed by Peter Brown (9780316200646)

Fred loves to be naked. He runs through the house wild and free. He thinks he may never get dressed, but then discovers the closet in his parents’ bedroom. First, he tries on his Dad’s clothes, including a shirt, tie and pair of shoes. But he has trouble putting them on and they don’t fit right. He looks at his mother’s side of the closet. He picks out a blouse, scarf and some shoes. He doesn’t have any trouble putting them on in an outfit. Now he needs some additional touches, like some jewelry and maybe some makeup. That’s when his parents come in the room. His mother shows him how to put the makeup on and how to do hair. Soon all of the family, even the dog, are all dressed up together in a marvelous mix of outfits.

Brown uses simple wording to show a young boy exploring with nakedness and then playing dress up. The parents he shows are clearly unconcerned with the naked child running all around the house. His merriment is wonderful to see as is their casual response. As Fred tries on his mother’s clothes and then gets “caught” the reaction of the parents is perfection as they join in the fun but also show Fred some new skills along the way.

Brown’s art is always marvelous. Here his palette is an unusual mix of greens, vivid pink and browns. The result is a modern yet classic feel.

A charmer of a picture book that celebrates freedom from gender norms. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Little, Brown and Company.