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Comment: This item is gently used in good or better condition. If it is a textbook it may not have supplements. It may have some moderate wear and possibly include previous owner's name, some markings and/or is a former library book. We ship within 1 business day and offer no hassle returns. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
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Ella Sarah Gets Dressed Hardcover – May 1, 2003

4.2 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-K-In typical toddler fashion, Ella Sarah has her own ideas about what she should wear and persists in her choices despite her family's suggestions. "Her father said, `That outfit is too fancy. Why don't you wear your yellow T-shirt with white shorts, and your tennis shoes?'" Ella Sarah replies with what becomes her refrain. "I want to wear my pink polka-dot pants, my dress with orange-and-green flowers, my purple-and-blue striped socks, my yellow shoes, and my red hat!" At the end, her equally "well-dressed" friends arrive for a tea party. The larger-than-life family members tower over Ella Sarah, with only their torsos and legs showing. The exuberant illustrations, "created using a variety of printmaking techniques," dance and tumble across the pages, adding emotion to her refrain. The vibrant yellows, oranges, pinks, and purples work together surprisingly well-Ella Sarah doesn't look as shocking as one would imagine. This should be a hit at storytime or for one-on-one sharing.
Linda M. Kenton, San Rafael Public Library, CA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* PreS. Young Ella Sarah is a kid with flair, and she has a special outfit in mind: "my pink polka-dot pants, my dress with orange-and-green flowers, my purple-and-blue striped socks, my yellow shoes, and my red hat." Mom, Dad, and Big Sister offer alternate ensembles, complaining that Ella Sarah's outfit is "too dressy" and "too silly," but Ella Sarah insists on her own choice and finally manages to pull everything on. Then the doorbell rings. In walks a crowd of Ella Sarah's young friends, dressed in equally flamboyant clothes, and the glamorous kids enjoy a tea party. With minimal words and her signature art marked by bright, bold prints, Chodos-Irvine perfectly captures a universal childhood struggle. Preschoolers will enjoy chanting along with Ella Sarah's often repeated list of clothing, and the illustrations create strong mood and movement with just a few opaque shapes, beautifully conveying Ella Sarah's gestures, from pre-tantrum stuffed-animal tosses to the wrestling war of getting dressed to her smug tea pouring at the story's end. Young children will easily see themselves in Ella Sarah's fierce defiance, and they'll delight in her gleefully bold fashion statement. A perfect read-aloud for the dress-up crowd. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
  • Series: Caldecott Honor Book
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152164138
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152164133
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I adore Ella Sarah. Other reviewers are right that Ella Sarah does throw a mild tantrum in the book. I personally think it's a great tool for teaching toddlers. Ella Sarah clearly expresses what she wants (a list my 2-year-old daughter knows by heart), and when she is not supported in her wishes by her family members, she goes ahead and dresses herself. I personally think it's a lot better when a toddler can list off exactly what she wants to wear, rather than throw a incomprehensible fit. I adore Ella Sarah (and my daughter does too), because she is an independent, communicative and creative little girl!
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Format: Hardcover
The reviewers who complained about why this book won the Caldecott Medal may not be aware that the Caldecott is given for the illustrations. Certainly, the outstanding illustrations in this book qualify it for the medal, even if the story isn't the most original. I love the colorful printmaking and the accurate depiction of a toddler's behavior. Not all books have to teach a moral lesson.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My grandaughter has had color preference since birth. This book is among the "bed books" when she sleeps at MeMas'. Ella knows what she likes and sticks to her guns. The rest of the family has a different opinion - but honor hers. Ellas friends "get it too". Toddler validation. Who can argue?
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Format: Hardcover
Ella Sarah is a young woman with a mind of her own... a very young woman with a mind of her own.
This brightly bold picture book reflects the personality of the protagonist. Everyone else gives her "their wisdom" and seems to forget Ella Sarah has a vision all her own.
At the end, Ella Sarah follows her heart and wears exactly what she wanted to all along.... and then her friends who know and cherish her exactly as she is arrive and.... well, its a loving, bright and bold ending as well.
Your children will love this, especially those who are bold, bright little ones who have their own strong fashion opinions.
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Format: Hardcover
To the bafflement of most of the knowledgeable children's literature world, "Ella Sarah Gets Dressed" garnered itself the prestigious and highly sought after Caldecott Honor Award in early 2004. It beat such potential contenders as Peter Sis's, "Tree of Life" and Gerald McDermott's, "Creation", both far worthier (in my humble opionion) winners. This isn't to say that the book is bad. As a charming tale about a stubborn toddler and her intense desire to wear the clothing of her own choice, the book is sweet and good-natured. Just the same, I was amazed by its reception.

As far as the plot goes, it's fairly basic. Ella Sarah plods around the house in her sheep pajamas, a floppity stuffed animal (with the nose and mouth of a martini glass) accompanying her wherever she goes. Right from the start, our heroine knows exactly what kind of clothing she would like to wear. Says she, "I want to wear my pink polka-dot pants, my dress with orange-and-green flowers, my purple-and-blue striped socks, my yellow shoes, and my red hat". Her mother complains that the outfit is too dressy. She suggests an alternative, which is met with Ella Sarah's reiterated desire. Her father says it's too fancy and she repeats her outfit (this time accompanied by a very realistic tantrumesque stamping on the floor). Her older sister says it's too silly and offers some clothes she's outgrown. Now the stuffed animal goes flying, as Ella Sarah proclaims her perfect outfit for the last time. Carefully she dresses herself in the colorful eclectic ensemble. When the doorbell rings we see that her friends are just as snazzy as our intrepid heroine. And with that, the four friends sit down to tea and donut holes. It is a colorful sight.
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Format: Hardcover
The book is about a toddler who wants to wear a particular outfit -- pink polka-dot pants, etc., donned with a red hat.

One by one, her family members tell her the outfit she wants to wear is "too dressy," "too fancy," and "too silly." Ella Sarah throws a bit of a fit when people keep making such comments, and she reiterates the outfit she wants to wear.

I thought the book was going to be about an independent toddler becoming confident and learning how to make people listen to her when something was important to her (she has to wear the clothes, after all). I thought she would explain why she wanted to wear that outfit and then everyone would see her point of view, or would at least see that it really doesn't matter what a toddler wears most of the time. That book, I would have liked. But, it wasn't about that.

Instead, it turns out Ella Sarah wanted to wear her colorful, fancy, dressy outfit because her friends were coming over for a tea party and therefore they were all wearing fancy clothes.

So, I was confused. Did her parents not know their toddler was having company that day? Why did they care what she wore anyway? Were they having family pictures, or what? Apparently not. They didn't know she was having friends over (odd for a toddler), and cared a whole heck of a lot about what she would wear when they were just sitting at home (why?). Why did they not ask her why she wanted to wear that outfit? It would have cleared up a lot of things. Why did they have to denigrate her choices in such harmful terms, such as "silly"?

I don't mind that Ella Sarah got upset when no one would listen to her.
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