Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Dressing Up? What Riley Wore by Elana K. Arnold

Riley is a free-form dresser.

On Monday, Riley wore a bunny costume because it was the first day of school and Riley felt shy.

Riley is the only kid in a bunny suit there, but one girl stopped crying when Riley let her rub the bunny ears.

On Tuesday Riley wears a superhero cape to the sometimes daunting dentist's office.

Wednesday finds Riley and grandparents going to a fancy restaurant, where Riley wears a ball gown.

Thursday was Space Day...
Riley decided outer-space jammies were the perfect thing to wear.

On a rainy Friday Riley put together red rubber boots, a police jacket, and a pink tutu.

A sixth-grade crossing guard says...
I like your tutu!

And when Saturday rolls around, Riley wears overalls and a yellow hard hat to help Dad. The hardware store guy gives Riley a really cool sticker, and it goes right into a pocket to keep for just the right friend.

And on Sunday, Riley's ensemble look like a veritable closet explosion--mismatched socks, purple jeans under a tutu, red fireman's boots, a monster shirt, and spiky dino helmet, and she finds a friend to give the special sticker to.

You know, some days you just feel being more than one thing. Firefighters are good, and dancers are cool, and monster dinos are the bomb!

Riley is a kid who can't be stereotyped, for sure, in Elana K. Arnold's latest, What Riley Wore (Beach Lane Books, 2019). In this story of a kid who dresses to a different drummer each day, youngsters who like the make a fashion statement will find a kindred soul, and those who dress to avoid notice will get a bit of encouragement to try a change in persona. Artist Linda Davik's simple and bright digital illustrations (with the look of paper collage) make good use of perspective shifts to show the various settings while keeping adventurous Riley in the center of the action.

As Publishers Weekly wisely points out, "... the creators take this timely subject matter into a refreshing realm: normalcy."

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