Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Different Like Coco Hardcover – February 13, 2007
Frequently Bought Together
From School Library Journal
Grade 2–6—A celebration of the life of a major fashion designer and independent spirit. Chanel was born poor, was scorned, and ultimately succeeded because of her own talents. "Coco couldn't afford to dress like the corseted ladies of high society and she was never going to be shapely. There was no point in trying to be like them. Instead, she tried to be different." Like Kathryn Lasky's Vision of Beauty (Candlewick, 2000), this imaginative tale should be shared with every child who thinks Jane O'Connor's Fancy Nancy (HarperCollins, 2005) is the epitome of high fashion. The story is accompanied, appropriately, by elegant pen-and-ink and watercolor cartoons that capture her struggles as a young woman, as well as her innate sense of style. Viva, Coco.—Kathleen Whalin, York Public Library, ME
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
As it turns out, Coco Chanel is a terrific subject for a picture-book biography. A poor, skinny orphan, she brightened her colorless convent childhood by sewing dresses for her dolls. She also dreamed big dreams. Once she was on her own, she turned her tailoring talent into a career as a dress designer. Coco, who was sticklike rather than shapely, designed dresses for figures like hers. Soon, her clothes were being snapped up, and thanks to her enigmatic personality and sense of style, she became a celebrity. Matthews' writing style is right on the mark, as breezy and appealing as Coco herself. Wisely, the author frontloads the book with stories of Coco's disadvantaged youth, which have immediate pull for readers. It's too bad that the pictures don't measure up to the writing. Although often amusing, and occasionally moving, they never capture Coco's elegance. Moreover, all the characters have snoutlike noses that are seriously distracting. Despite that, this rags-to-much-nicer-rags story is well worth reading. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top Customer Reviews
There are better books out there for children. I'll just keep this one for myself since I like Chanel and ill just give it to my daughter when she's old enough to understand that body image is not important. Slender or voluptuous does not define anyone.
Also, it gives an image of Chanel asking her lover for money so she can open her boutique - it happened, I saw the movie, but come one! It's a childrens book!
Elizabeth Matthews has written a perfect Springtime fancy, and the pen & ink illustrations are every bit as lively, just right for introducing children & their very willing parents to a story about the little girl Coco who overcame her tough childhood with sewing skills learned in a Catholic orphanage. She could hold her own with snobby students of privilege and learned much by watching her peers. She later hung fabric on mannequin forms and basted in her relaxed styles which brought her fashion immortality.
The author, who graduated from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, chose Chanel as her somewhat innovative subject for children's picture books. Matthews is sure to have studied much about Coco Chanel and her clever "inventions" of the cartigan suit, and in 1926 "the little black dress." Reviewer mcHaiku isn't quite as old as the famed Chanel No. 5; it contained more than 80 ingredients, a new fact about 'parfum' for this reader. Chanel epitomizes a certain fortitude & determination that we hope young readers will try to replicate.
Perhaps they will remember another of her sayings: "INNOVATION! One cannot be forever innovating. I want to create CLASSICS."
This is a wonderfully inspirational book for children. I saw it years ago, didn't buy it, but I kept thinking about until I finally bought it recently for my daughters. They love it! It sends very positive messages about being independent, creative, and resourceful.
The primary weakness of the book is its focus on the word "different." What comes out of the biography is Chanel's determination, drive, personal power, and creativity - characteristics that helped her follow her own mind and become "different" as a consequence. Too often in kid's literature and other media, children are exhorted to be "different" and "express themselves" without thinking about what they're doing, and they end up as conformists. Chanel was a thinker, and that made her different from all the other "different" people. By focusing on the word "different", the book sells itself a little short.
Some aspects of Coco Chanel's life during WWII are considered morally questionable, but they've been left out of this book to render a narrative appropriate for children. This is fine for the age group it's targeted for, and the simple story in this book is most effective.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was really looking forward to receiving this book. I worked in the fashion industry designing dresses and fashion has always been part of my life and now that I have three... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jose v R
I really enjoyed the pictures, but was not previously aware of Coco's actual life history. This would not necessarily be something I would read to my kids because it tells how she... Read morePublished 13 months ago by juliebambooli
I understand that all historical figures are problematic at best when you look into their lives, but this book is basically a pack of lies that make a horrible person look like a... Read morePublished 19 months ago by J. Klumpp
My 9 year old daughter loved this book! The book is also wonderfully illustrated & the author did a great job at including Coco's lifetime achievments.Published 20 months ago by josiemoore
Good read, but too simple. Would like to have a more detailed biography.Published 23 months ago by Polly W.