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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Where Did My Clothes Come From? Written by Chris Butterworth and illustrated by Lucia Gaggiotti. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2015. $16.00 ages 8 and up

"What is your sweater made of?
Your sweater is made of wool -
the long hair from a sheep. The
sheep's wool is cut off once a
year (it doesn't hurt the sheep -
she's probably glad to be cool
again).  Raw wool is dirty and
greasy, so it's taken to a mill
and washed well. This is
called scouring."

As he did with the companion book, How Did That Get in My Lunchbox? The Story of Food (2011), Chris Butterworth writes a very appealing book that offers information about the clothes we wear. We all have favorites, don't we? I know that many of the clothes that I wear daily at home are not suitable for wearing when I go out, or when the weather changes. But, they are so comfy! He suggests that we need all types of clothes, and we know he's right!

He tells his readers how jeans, sweaters, party dresses, team uniforms, fleece jackets, and finally, boots are made. It's all so well designed and organized that it makes the reading easy for those who want to know more. The author realizes that the two young people who are the recipients of his teaching will have different interests and wear different outfits. So, he does his best to ensure that they will learn about some of their own favorite clothing. His conversational tone is humorous at times, and very informative while explaining exactly how the clothing is made.

The illustrations are created in mixed media and show Lucia Gaggiotti's love of color and charming detail. In back matter, Mr. Butterworth adds a reminder to consider recycling efforts when the clothes no longer fit, or are not needed. Notes about the writing and artwork, a short list for further reading and an index are welcome.

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