Hailey loves to wear pretty dresses. She has a closet full of dresses in all different colors. One day her mother gives her a new dress. This one is white. Hailey plans to wear it to her birthday party, but unfortunately she spills something on the dress and it makes a stain. She is very upset when she can't remove the stain. But through research and determination, she is successful. She learns valuable lessons in the process. Hailey learns many ways to wash her dress and she learns how to research different stain removal processes. She also learns that if she has the determination to succeed, she will never lose.
Sigalit Benbenishti's colorful picture book story, Hailey's White Dress, appears to be a simple story, but in reality the book is a valuable teaching tool to help young children learn the power of determination and hard work. It's too easy to give up when things get difficult in life, as it often happens. We have to keep trying, even when we think that we are just failing over and over again. This is an important lesson for all of us, young and old, to learn and to re-learn. The story is told quite simply in language that is suitable for young readers. The illustrations help carry the story along. There are a few awkward sentences, but overall, it is a wonderful story to share repeatedly. It is not an easy lesson to teach and I think the author has chosen a lovely way to introduce the concept of determination in a way that young children will understand.
Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford