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10,000 Dresses

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  751 Ratings  ·  152 Reviews
Every night, Bailey dreams about magical dresses: dresses made of crystals and rainbows, dresses made of flowers, dresses made of windows…Unfortunately, when Bailey’s awake, no one wants to hear about these beautiful dreams. Quite the contrary: “You’re a BOY!” Mother and Father tell Bailey. “You shouldn’t be thinking about dresses at all.” Then Bailey meets Laurel, an olde ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published November 4th 2008 by Triangle Square (first published January 1st 2008)
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Feb 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
For all intents and purposes Cookie magazine is not the kind of publication I read regularly (in that I make less that $250,000 a year). However, a year or so ago this periodical carried a story I hadn't really heard before. It was a true story of two parents trying to figure out how to deal with their young son. The boy liked wearing dresses, and pretty much preferred to wear them all the time. They didn't mind it in the home, but when he wanted to start wearing dresses to school the parental u ...more
Feb 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Alex said the same thing I did after reading this, which was, like, 'What- that's it?' We both had to calm ourselves down and remind ourselves that this is a picture book for children, which is hard when you're used to trans stuff being the province of complicated theory and stately literary explorations (puke) and Felicity Huffman movies (puke puke, except for the 'shoplifting a frog' joke).

But it is a picture book! For little kids! I'm pretty stoked that I live in a world where this book exist
April Sanders
Every adult should read this.
I bought this for my niece. She loves fashion and dresses. She loves the beautiful and amazing pictures of dresses in this book. She had questions about why a boy wanted to wear them. I think she's still puzzling it all out. She still asks to read this book from time to time. I feel the subject is handled very well. Great book.
Johnny Nguyen
Oct 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: gay-identity
10,000 Dresses is a story about a transgender child who was born a boy, but identifies himself as a girl. The overall plot is about how she wakes up from her dreams and goes on to tell her parents about the many dresses that she saw, but evidently every time, they tell her to stop talking about them because she’s a boy. The story is beautifully written and is interesting enough for children to get them thinking. The language is written in a way where the situation of the story is told realistica ...more
Sarah Wiwchar
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: PreK-Grade 8
Shelves: read-with-kids, lgbtq
So I read this book with both grade 7/8 and grade 1 so far. I give it 4/5 stars only because I think it sort of leaves off on a bit of a negative point but not? This is a good book to read with kids and discuss what it means to be a transgender person to help them understand. I think it actually went well with the grade 1s so I'm really excited about that.

Update: I now give it 5 stars because it can be very realistic that people aren't accepting, even family members.
10,000 dresses tries just a bit too hard and, while it may be reflective of some families, showcases far more disrespect and hate than it does the love and understanding it's supposed to convey. It's not that the book doesn't bring smiles and warmth, it's that it's far too thin and there's a pretty uneven balance. I think it'll leave kids feeling more confused and not do much to further acceptance. Really disappointed in this one. :(
Sarah Sammis
Dec 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert is about a child named Bailey who was born a boy but sees herself as a girl and has plans to be a dress designer. Bailey's family doesn't want to talk about dresses or the fact that he sees himself as a she. If he'll just shut up and put up the problem will go away. Except it doesn't and fortunately for Bailey's sake, there is a dress designer down the street who is willing to support her dreams.

It's a book that was on my wishlist and I probably heard about it from
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
In this odd book a boy who keeps dreaming about dresses tells each one of his family members about it, only to have them make fun of him and tell him that dresses are not for boys. Finally, however, he meets an older girl who helps him actually make the dresses he dreams about. I think this book might be confusing for kids who don't understand that Bailey is transgender. Bailey's family all refer to him as a boy, and he looks like a boy. Yet the narrator of the story calls him a she. I understan ...more
Larry-bob Roberts
Dec 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Pioneering children's book dealing with Trans issues. Bailey dreams of magical dresses, but her family says that boys don't wear dresses.

I went to a reading for the book last night, and there were a couple of teachers who say they are getting great response from kids from the book.

Beautiful art by Rex Ray, who has done a lot of book design and also art for David Bowie projects.
Cute. Sad that Bailey's family did not accept her, but she went out and found a friend that did, so yay.
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ece
I loved this book so much when I read it because, it gave a realistic approach to how some children feel when they come out. In many cases people will not be accepting at first or make fun of you but if you keep being who you are things will turn out for the best because you're being authentic. I am in awe of Marcus Ewert, because he created a beautiful book, showcasing a boy who wanted to wear dresses and did so even if those around him didn't think it was okay. Ewert gave hope to little boys a ...more
Ruthie Jones
Dec 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-book
I have mixed emotions about this incredibly short book (took all of 30 seconds to read) because I can't identify the intended audience. The simplicity and sparseness of the story would appeal to the small child who is unable to read yet or who is just learning to read. And it can be a good way to introduce this topic to children to help them learn about diversity and adversity. I can't see this itty bitty story appealing to the older child who might be struggling with gender identity and accepta ...more
Crystal Bandel
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
10,000 Dress by Marcus Ewert, illustrated by Rex Ray, published 2008.

Realistic fiction.

Picture book.

Grades K-3.

Found as a Stonewall Honor Book and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards. No review found.

Bailey is a girl who dreams of beautiful dresses she'd like to wear every night. However, when she tries to tell her family about these dresses, they insist that she's a boy and shouldn't want to wear dresses. Bailey faces the struggle of finding someone who recognizes her as a girl until she
Feb 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Grade: Middle school to high school
Subject: Social Emotional, feelings
A boy named Bailey dreams about a variety of dresses. He tells his family about the dreams he has and asks for a dress, but his family members do not understand his need to have a dress as an appropriate one. “You are a boy!” Is their response to Bailey and undeterred each night he has a new dream about a dress. Later he finds himself walking towards a house and in it is an older girl who knows how to sow, but doesn’t have any
Natasha North
Feb 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I wanted to enjoy this book more than I did because it's not a common topic in literature for young children. I appreciate that Ewert does not try to wrap up a complicated topic with a big group hug at the end, yet he does give the young transgendered protagonist a supportive life line. The prose was good at times and a little cliche at others.

The artwork was not particularly appealing to me. Bailey's imagination via dreams is interesting and I'm sure s/he'd give fashion people something to thin
While very clearly an "issues" text, I would read this with individual children and/or with children who are experiencing the hardships Bailey does. In my opinion, this book would be difficult as a read-aloud for a larger group of children, as many young children have limited or no concept of what it means to be transgender. They may be confused by the mixed pronouns (Bailey's self identification versus her family's imposed language), and while the book is ABSOLUTELY appropriate for young childr ...more
Reed McMurray
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert is about a little boy named Bailey. Bailey is not like the other boys in his life. He wakes up every name from having amazing dreams about all kinds of dresses. Dresses made of flowers, dresses made of windows. When he wakes up no one wants to hear about his dreams, they tell him "you're a boy Bailey" and boys aren't suppose to wear dresses. This is until he meets Laurel. Will Laurel help Bailey be who he really wants to be?

This is an amazing and inspiration pictur
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
I love the idea and intention of this book, and I think it is a good introduction into the importance of using the identifying pronouns as requested (rather than correcting/forcing children in one direction) and perception around that. It also sends a great and beautiful message that sometimes our greatest allies and supporters are outside of the immediate family. However, I really wish it didn't play so strongly into stereotypes and the gender either-or binary and rather focused on the fluidity ...more
Sep 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
I think this is an important book because it opens a window into the world of a transgendered child and provides a rare mirror in which other transgendered children can see themselves. It would be a catalyst for initiating a possibly difficult but important conversation in classrooms and families. The author contrasts Bailey's self-image with the way others see Bailey through the use of language:Bailey uses "she" and "her" in self-reference, whereas other family members (mother, father and broth ...more
Jun 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017-charlotte
"You dream about dresses, Bailey? That's gross. You're a boy." If you like that quote, then this is the book for you. This quote is followed by a threat to physically assault the main character. I started out giving this book two stars, then changed to one star while writing this review. One star for the parents that shame and disregard their child's feelings. It's nice that there's a book for transgendered children, but I feel like the message of this story is that your parents and family won't ...more
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing

I round up because the world needs more such books. It is realistic, see the reactions of the parents and, especially, of the brother. And also because Bailey finds help and understanding with a stranger, which is probably true for many trans people. It is a good book not only for trans kids, but also for boys who like to wear dresses and girls who don't like to wear them. I loved the fact that the author uses from the beginning the pronoun Bailey would use for herself. I liked also the artwo
Jan 02, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm confused a little bit about this story. Can a boy just like to wear a dress without becoming a she?
Miami University Libraries
King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv Easy | PZ7.E94717 Aaj 2008

Amy Thornley read this book at the 2010 Women's Read-In.
Mills College Library
Picture E949t 2008
Baby Bookworm
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, friends! Our book today is 10,000 Dresses, written by Marcus Ewert and illustrated by Rex Ray, a look into the dreams and struggles of a young transgender girl.

When Bailey dreams, she dreams of dresses – 10,000 in total. Each dress is a wonder, made of crystals or flowers or windows into far-off lands. But whenever Bailey wakes up and shares her dreams with her family, she is met with un
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Marcus Ewert's 10,000 Dresses is about a young girl named Bailey who dreamed about some very creative dresses she wanted to have. She approached her mother and asked if the mother could help her make a dress out of crystals. The mother responded aghast that Bailey was a boy and that boys do not wear dresses. Bailey responded that she did not feel like a boy. After dreaming about a dress made of flowers, Bailey approached her father and asked if he could grow her a dress like that. Her father was ...more
Cassandra M
May 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
This story is about a struggle that Bailey faces with being a boy, but he feels like a girl. Bailey is referred to a “she” throughout the story, unless it is when the mother, father, or brother talk to him and refer to him as a boy. Bailey dreams about dresses and really wants one. When Bailey tells the mother, father, and brother about how she wants a dress, they tell Bailey “You’re a boy. Boys don’t wear dresses.” Bailey’s family cannot accept that Bailey doesn’t feel like the body he was born ...more
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this story and cannot wait to share it with a small group. Bailey, dreams of beautiful and intricate dresses each night. She tries telling her parents about the dresses, but they remind her that she was born a boy. "You're a boy. Boy's don't wear dresses". Throughout the story, Bailey continued to dream, and tell her mother, father, and brother about these magical dresses. The ending was heartwarming, but I do not want to spoil the story for you! I'm quite impressed with this ...more
Kathleen O'Dell
I am not too fond of the illustrations in this book, but really I suppose it's about the content. The overall story line is pretty good. I liked how the book shows that parents aren't always super supportive, and may want their children to act a certain way. This is a real thing that people who are transgender deal with, and I think that children might be able to understand that that's not okay. People should be supported, especially by family, when they are learning about themselves. Fortunatel ...more
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Marcus Ewert's first book 10,000 Dresses, illustrated by Rex Ray, was published by Seven Stories Press in September 2008. He is the co-creator of the animated series "Piki & Poko: Adventures in StarLand" and is currently writing "Mummy Cat", another children's book, coming out from Clarion Book in July 2015. He lives in San Francisco.
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