Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “I Had a Favorite Dress” as Want to Read:
I Had a Favorite Dress
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

I Had a Favorite Dress

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  548 Ratings  ·  115 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 he ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 1st 2011 by Harry N. Abrams
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about I Had a Favorite Dress, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about I Had a Favorite Dress

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,141)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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 favouri ...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 a ...more
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 04, 2013 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
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!
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.
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
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.
Mar 01, 2012 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:
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 decorat ...more
La Coccinelle
Oct 27, 2014 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
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
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
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.
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.
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 :)
Klaudia Maniakowska
Apr 22, 2015 Klaudia Maniakowska rated it really liked it
Julia Denos does a beautiful job by using both watercolors and crayons to capture the childishness of the story. The illustrations seem to be drawn by a little girl herself, because they are very messy and full of different items, such as hearts or suns. Apart from being only a must-be for all little “fashionistas” , the picture book might be used for teaching days of the week and seasons, as the protagonist adapts her favorite dress to each day of the week, as well as to the current season. I w ...more
Red Book Buyer
Mar 28, 2015 Red Book Buyer rated it really liked it
This picture book could have easily been a 5 star if the author used rhyming language. Some of the word choices caused me to stumble when reading aloud to Kindergarten; plus, "favoritest" is hard to say. But otherwise the story is great, the illustrations lovely, and generally is a great example of showing diversity in picture books without changing the meaning of the story (I would have been really annoyed if the girl was blonde/blue-eyed).
Sep 09, 2014 Amelie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I read a similar Jewish story about a boy wearing a blue coat which ended up being a button, then a story. Anyways, it was fun reading this in a different situation which was a dress. I am a girl, so I can understand the sadness when I have to throw away my favorite dress(for my case, maybe... a t-shirt). Julia Denos is my favorite illustrator. She uses many materials in variety of methods and her illustrations are wonderful.
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. T ...more
Feb 29, 2016 Sam rated it really liked it
When a little girl's favorite dress becomes too short, what is a mother to do? The answer: use your sewing skills to repurpose it into a shirt, or course! I love the way the mom tells the daughter to not make mountains out of molehills, and finds a way to keep recycling the favorite "dress" into something else through each consecutive mishap! I wish sewing skills were more widely used and that moms and dads everywhere could do the simple fixes to make it possible for old, holey, short, or otherw ...more
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! Struc ...more
Colin Peck
May 24, 2016 Colin Peck rated it really liked it
I saw this book as I was shelving other picture books, and I just had to read it. The cover caught my attention, as did the title. It is a cute story about holding on to something special and making the most out of change. I related to this story because it seems like something I would do! :)
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 38 39 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Crafty Chloe
  • More
  • A House in the Woods
  • A Pet for Petunia
  • Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow?
  • Stars
  • A New Year's Reunion: A Chinese Story
  • The Day Dirk Yeller Came to Town
  • Cloudette
  • Otto the Book Bear
  • These Hands
  • Squid and Octopus Friends for Always
  • The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred
  • A Dog Is a Dog
  • Another Brother
  • Naamah and the Ark at Night
  • Blue Chicken
  • Tell Me the Day Backwards
Boni Ashburn is the author of Hush, Little Dragon and I Had A Favorite Dress, as well as several other books for children. 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 star
More about Boni Ashburn...

Share This Book