Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes Illustrated by Louis Slobodkin

Being a children's classic this book has been loved by generations for more than sixty years. I never really had much interest to read it but I said I would for a challenge on Goodreads. Completely not what I expected. I thought it would have been more of a fantasy genre or like a Dr.Seuss book. I don't know why. I was just going by the cover.

The illustration is famous on its own. I've always seen it and it's like a symbol for children's classics or children's books themselves.

Now Eleanor Estes I have known for awhile. I have read and loved Ginger Pye (Pinky Pye wasn't as great). I know she has written more on The Moffats. Basically she's a classic storyteller and she also created this actual classic. Before you read the book her daughter writes a not about why her mother wrote this story. It was actually a true story. I don't know how much is fiction but it was based on a true story. There was this girl in her class who day in and day out wore a faded blue dress and she claimed one day that she had a hundred dresses in her closet lined up. Everyone teased her about that and her polish last name. Then one day she moved away and Eleanor always felt bad for not sticking up for her. She wrote this book as sort of an apology letter.

In the story Peggy is the leader in making fun of this girl, Wanda Petronski, was the girl who was being picked on. She was obviously poor and I can't believe people would make fun of her like that. She has a hard time as it is. Peggy's best friend Maddie is the one who has always felt bad of her being made fun of. This story takes a twist at the end when Wanda has moved and we discover the hundred dresses... She really showed them up. This story is primarily a lesson. Maddie is the one who learns it and I'm glad to see someone feel bad for what she did or in this case what she didn't do. But I wonder if I were in the same instance at that age if I would do anything? And I'm sure I know and it's sad that I probably wouldn't do anything. I would like to think at this age well I actually do believe myself when I know that I would do something now. Children act so childish because that is their nature. The ones who stop are the ones who will make a real difference in the world and in the lives of others. Sadly some people don't grow up.

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