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Thursday, April 28, 2016

I Like Old Clothes, written by Mary Ann Hoberman and illustrated by Patrice Barton. Random House, 2012. $18.99 ages 5 and up

"I like old clothes.
I really do.
Clothes with a history.
Clothes with a mystery.
Sweaters and shirts
That are brother-and-sistery,
Clothes that belonged to a
friend of a friend ... "

I have been looking for this book for a few years, and was happy to finally find it so that I could share it with you. I wanted it to be part of the celebration for National Poetry Month. I have always admired Mary Ann Hoberman's poetic picture books.

If you are a parent, you know that your children generally have more clothes than they need. If you are lucky enough to have friends whose children are older, you may often be the happy recipient of hand-me-downs. In many cases, they have rarely been worn and are in prime condition, if a little comfy.

If your child is anything like the little girl who narrates this poetic text, then old clothes are exactly what's needed. Her love of clothes that come from other people sets her apart from many. She loves to wear them when she dresses up for play, and also on any given day. She finds them full of comfort because they are broken in and someone else has loved them, too.  She shares her many reasons for loving old clothes with candor and care. If you are keen on recycling and reusing, it's an added bonus.

Patrice Barton's softly colored and imaginatively textured images are as comfortable as the clothes so loved by our joyous narrator. The fabrics used and carefully blurred lines enhance the warm feelings associated with spending days in old favorite duds.

Hooray for the sustainability inspired by hand-me-downs, and of old stories refashioned for a brand new audience. Lovely!

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