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I Had a Favorite Dress
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I Had a Favorite Dress

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  598 Ratings  ·  122 Reviews
Open up a fresh and stylish story about growing up and keeping hold of your favorite memories. As the year passes, the narrator’s favorite dress goes through a series of creative changes, from dress to shirt to tank top to scarf and so on, until all that’s left of it is a good memory. Assisted by her patient and crafty mama, the narrator finds that when disaster strikes ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 1st 2011 by Harry N. Abrams
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Boni Ashburn's sweet little romp (poetic, descriptive and just plain fun) depicts a little girl's favourite dress being repeatedly reused and recycled into various other (then) favourite articles of clothing (from a shirt to finally a hair bow, and when that hair bow falls prey to a puppy's sharp little teeth, the bits of remaining fabric are rescued and incorporated into a picture). While not actually presenting and describing the skills required to sew, to turn the favourite dress, the ...more
Mar 19, 2016 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyable! I loved the mama's creativity -- it was so much fun seeing what she would come up with next! -- and I loved that the little girl finds the perfect solution at the very end with her own style of creativity. The illustrations are charming and expressive and the poetic language is great for read-aloud. A wonderful book about sewing, repurposing, and using creativity to bring a smile when a situation has you frowning! ;-)
Mary Ann
I loved reading this with my 7 year old. Her comment: "It's really creative!" She was full of smiles as she realized the pattern in the story and started predicting what the little girl would make next out of her favorite dress. And then toward the end, she loved how she couldn't quite predict what she'd make next. After we read it, she wanted to go back and count all the things the little girl made out of her original dress. I also think my daughter could relate to the little girl feeling sad ...more
Jul 18, 2016 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful tale that documents just how fast our little ones are growing up. Literally.

I can't tell you how many times I've said to my youngest that her pants are now too short for her. Her normal reply is that she doesn't care, but I end up sneaking them into the donation pile as soon as they are washed. Otherwise, she'll just keep wearing them and say that they are 'capris.'

So this was perfect timing for us, seeing how growing out of clothes is normal and that you can repurpose them
Love it! This fun and funky story of a beloved dress outgrown and turned into other bits of girly clothing (including a "tassely scarf") drew my attention because of the breezy illustrations of Julia Denos (Just Being Audrey), but the text is winning as well -- poetic and rhythmic without full-on rhyming. I also appreciate the multicultural characters and the fact that Mom and Grandma are stable and resourceful. A wonderfully updated twist on the Joseph Had a Little Overcoat concept.

Favorite quo
Aug 16, 2011 Tara rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebook
When a young girl's dress gets too short, voila!, it is made into a shirt. And when that shirt's sleeves get too short, voila!, a tank top ... and so the story goes until nothing remains of the dress. A excellent story showing how one things can be used many times and you shouldn't freak out about things, but figure out a solution.
Dec 30, 2011 Lee rated it really liked it
My daughter likes to hold on to her clothes. This story showed a creative and fun way to re-purpose a favourite garment without the trauma of giving it away. Lovely illustrations too!
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Nov 23, 2011 Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance rated it it was amazing
A girl loves her favorite dress, but it is now too small for her. Her clever mother shapes it into new things the girl can wear. As the girl grows, the dress is transformed into a shirt, then a tank top, then a scarf, then socks, until it finally becomes a beautiful hair bow.

A nice story about using creativity to solve a problem.

“I had a favorite dress that was my favoritest dress ever. I wore it every Tuesday because that was my favorite day of the week.

But one Tuesday, I put on my favorite dre
Dec 21, 2011 Barbara rated it really liked it
Shelves: ncbla, picture-book
The narrator in this picture book has a dress that she simply loves to wear, but when it becomes too small for her, her mother fashions it into a ruffly new shirt, then a tank top, a skirt, a scarf, socks, and a hair bow. At first I expected her mother to buy her something new, but I was delighted that mother and daughter found a way to turn something old into something new. I also liked how the daughter cleverly creates something from the remains of the chewed up ribbon in the end. I loved the ...more
Sep 10, 2016 Shazzer rated it really liked it
Lovely both inside and out. A young girl's favorite dress changes with the seasons and her own growing self to become a shirt, a tank, a skirt, a scarf and more. Boni Ashburn's story has a wonderful vibrancy to it, with the repeated refrain of "Snip, snip, sew, sew, new [insert clothing item here] hello!". I also loved the final outcome of the dress, which is sweet and simple. Julia Denos' illustrations are gorgeous and the coloring is divine. I wish I could live in this picture book. And I wish ...more
Lest anybody think I am All Boy All the Time, this great picture book about a style-conscious little girl and her crafty - in both senses of the word - mama almost made me wish I had little girl style crises in my own life. But alas. My boys will wear a pair of pants until it falls apart on them - not because they love those pants but because they have not actually noticed that their butts are visible through the holes in the seat.

Full review at Pink Me:
Sep 09, 2015 Mona rated it really liked it
Personally, I found this a bit tiresome to reread over and over, but the kids kept asking for it. The fashion element definitely appealed to them (my nieces insist on wearing beautiful dresses every day) and the pattern storytelling allowed them to try to anticipate what would come next. The illustrations are beautiful - I love how they bring the character and her family to life.
Mar 13, 2016 Jenny rated it really liked it
This darling book filled with colorful vocabulary and poetic language shows what happens when a girl outgrows her favorite dress and her talented-at-sewing mama repurposes it again and again to make a shirt, skirt, scarf and bow. I love what the girl does with the scraps at the end. I love the warm relationship between mother and daughter and the expressive illustrations.
Nov 14, 2011 Natalie rated it liked it
Shelves: african-american
Quite similar to Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, except instead of an older Jewish man doing the repurposing, it's a chic African American pre-tween and her mother who keep getting the most out of a favorite dress. Might be fun to read the two books together.
Cathy Blackler
Sep 11, 2011 Cathy Blackler rated it it was amazing
I love books that have a sewing component, recalling all the times my Mom sewed things for my sister and me.This charming story is a great testament to problem-solving. What happens when your favorite dress gets too short? Creativity and a willingness to make the best of a situation will resonate with readers.
Mar 11, 2015 Beverly rated it really liked it
This is a modern version of the traditional overcoat story, which is made into a jacket, then vest, then tie, etc. In this case a little girl's dress goes through several transformations, ending up with pieces of the fabric in a collage picture the girl creates. Nice, exuberant illustrations.
Laura Harrison
Feb 18, 2015 Laura Harrison rated it it was amazing
Absolutely terrific. Wonderful story with lively, colorful yet soft illustrations. An extremely popular seller in my bookstore.
Jul 30, 2011 GraceAnne rated it it was amazing
"Just enough to make a story" with a fashionable twist. Stylish and fine.
Nov 15, 2011 Heather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
adorable! Love the illustrations! I want her wardrobe :)
Bhargavi Balachandran
Nov 15, 2016 Bhargavi Balachandran rated it it was amazing
A delightful book!
La Coccinelle
Aug 11, 2016 La Coccinelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
This is another library book that I poached from my mom's stack (the last one being Journey , which was absolutely wonderful). My mom must have great taste in children's picture books, because this one was wonderful, too.

The message about not making mountains out of molehills and learning to adapt and let go when it comes to change is a good one, and it's nice to see it in a picture book for young children. Unlike Maybe: A Little Zen for Little Ones , which I reviewed recently, the message in
Livvie Esslinger
This story starts out with a little girl who wears her absolute favorite dress on her favorite day of every week. The book follows her as she grows, seasons change, and unfortunate events happen, all leading to the girl's mother having to alter, what was once a dress, into different, smaller, clothing articles or accessories. In the end, the dress has become a hair bow that her dog chewed up into pieces. The girl never has a bad attitude about the situation though. She uses the pieces to ...more
Sep 10, 2016 Sally rated it it was amazing
A modern day retelling of the coat story where the coat ends up a button and then a story.

Add to collection.

Apr 04, 2013 Nicole rated it it was amazing
The genre of this book is a picture book. The age group of this book is 4-7. This book is about s girl who had a favorite dress and she wore it everyday of the week. The plot of this story was about a girl who had a favorite dress she liked to wear everyday of the week. But her dress did not last so her mom would think of creative ways to change the dress around so she can still wear it throughtout the week. Her mother mad a skirt, two shirts, socks, scarf, and a bow out of her favorite dress. ...more
Miss Pippi the Librarian
My first introduction to Boni Ashburn was through her books, Hush, Little Dragon and Over in the Castle. I think they are adorable stories! When I noticed her newest title, I Had a Favorite Hat, Ashburn's name caught my eye. I had no idea she had written this book! Upon looking up the hat book, I saw I had a Favorite Dress. It was originally published in 2011, but Dreamscape Media published an audiobook (and video) editions this year (2015).

I Had a Favorite Dress is a picture book. I think tots
Oct 13, 2015 Siskiyou-Suzy rated it really liked it
I like this story a lot. I like the illustrations, and the writing is very lyrical without actually being verse. There is fun repetition, a nice structure, and overall it's just a cute story. It's also nice to talk about reusing things rather than just trashing them.

The only problem is that there's a disconnect with audience -- this is a book for youngish children; the rhyming, the repetition and the structure are all very young, and I suspect older children would feel talked down to and a bit s
Christine Turner
Open up a fresh and stylish story about growing up and keeping hold of your favorite memories. As the year passes, the narrator's favorite dress goes through a series of creative changes, from dress to shirt to tank top to scarf and so on, until all that's left of it is a good memory. Assisted by her patient and crafty mama, the narrator finds that when disaster strikes her favorite things, she doesn't need to make mountains out of molehills--she "makes molehills out of mountains" instead! ...more
Amanda Snow
Aug 13, 2011 Amanda Snow rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Review originally posted at

A little girl with a favorite dress discovers what can be made of clothes when we outgrow them. No need to get rid of her favorite dress, she can make it into a t-shirt! And then a tank top, a skirt, etc. If you have a budding fashionista in your house, this is definitely a book to check out!

The illustration are unique, with the artist using a collage-type medium with pencils, paints, and 3D elements and a fun to just look at...I discovered n
Jared White
Sep 05, 2016 Jared White rated it really liked it
Lovely pictures and fun text tell all the shapes a favorite dress can take thanks to a creative mama (who's handy with a needle and thread).
4 Kids Books
Jan 05, 2012 4 Kids Books rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book, fiction
What do you do when you outgrow your favorite dress? Turn it into something else, of course! As our main character outgrows or tears her favorite outfit, or just needs something new, her mother does a little “Snip, snip! Sew, sew!” and changes it into just what she needs!

This charming picture book will appeal to fashionistas everywhere, but it’s about more than just pretty clothes—it’s about innovation! What really makes the book, though, is Julia Denos’ illustrations. Her unique style with colo
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Creativity 1 1 Oct 25, 2016 10:23PM  
Creativity 1 1 Oct 25, 2016 10:21PM  
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Boni Ashburn is the author of seven picture books, including Hush, Little Dragon and I Had A Favorite Dress. Boni lives in the Upper Peninsula Of Michigan with her four children and too many bookshelves to count.

*Please note: I give 5 stars to books I adore and MUST own, 4 stars to books that will stay with me in some way and that I almost-adore, and 3 stars to books I like. Two stars might be boo
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