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You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer Hardcover – March 1, 2000

4.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amelia Bloomer is not a proper lady. She thinks proper ladies of the 19th century are silly. They're not allowed to vote, not supposed to work, and all that fuss about clothes! Ridiculously wide hoop skirts, yards and yards of hot petticoats, and cruelly tight corsets supported by whalebone or steel made women faint at the drop of the hat: "What was proper about that?" So Amelia, being so very improper, sets out to revolutionize the world for women.

Not only does she start her own newspaper and try to change the voting laws, she also popularizes a new fashion. This bold new garb shocks the proper ladies, but frees all others to move, digest, breathe, and think about something other than keeping from fainting (such as voting and working). Named for their best spokesperson, bloomers marked the start of a kinder, gentler approach to women's fashion--and women's rights.

Shana Corey's lightly humorous voice is perfect for this true story about the 19th-century women's rights activist. A note at the end provides horrifying and fascinating information about women's restrictive clothing (corsets sometimes displaced internal organs!) and the dress reform that Amelia Bloomer spearheaded. Chesley McLaren's breezy, exuberant illustrations charmingly reflect her background in fashion design and illustration. (Ages 5 to 8) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly

Modern rebels meet a kindred spirit in Corey and McLaren's exuberant debut that introduces feminist pioneer Amelia Bloomer. "Amelia Bloomer was NOT a proper lady," trumpets the text, which tells how to recognize 19th-century women of propriety: "Their dresses were so long that... their skirts swept up all the mud and trash from the street. What was proper about that?" Amid graceful illustrations of ladies in overblown ruffles and breath-restricting corsets, Amelia appears in a practical navy blue dress, hatless. Amelia is especially impressed by suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton's cousin, Libby Miller, who has the good sense to wear a knee-length skirt over baggy, gathered pants. Amelia pronounces the outfit "Brilliant!" and publicizes it in the women's newspaper that she edits. Fans and foes alike name the new look after her. The title, styled as a taunt, implies Amelia's daring, and the conclusion links bloomers to body-baring "1920's swimwear" and groovy "60's bellbottoms." McLaren presents Amelia's fashion statement in gestural gouaches that imitate designers' sketches; the characters seem to float across the white pages. The artist's palette incorporates the strong violet, deep pink and yellow of aniline dyes, and a curvy typeface complements decorative curlicues in the images. In a breezy and delightfully chic manner, Corey and McLaren tell an inspiring tale of nonconformity. Ages 5-8. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: AD350L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1st edition (March 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439078199
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439078191
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 10.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
You Forgot Your Skirt Amelia Bloomer demonstrates all the bestthings a picture book can be. Tracy Mack (editor) left nothingunattended to...the dust jacket folds out into a poster after you follow the recommended directions to cut off the flaps. (But don't throw the flaps away! Even the bios on the illustrator and author are well written and informative! ) The endsheets have a big, bold illustration that encourages readers to predict. Even the ISBN number is strategically placed on the bottom of a fainting lady's blossoming dress! Chelsey McLaren's wonderful illustrations skate across the pages, almost dancing with the text's style and strategic position on each page. These illustrations deserve high praise! Shana Corey's ability to speak to the reader with a capricious voice and questions to make one think, make for a rare "read-aloud" biography that works incredibly well! There are few picture books that come as close to being perfect as this one does! I'd recommend this book for all ages. Specifically, as a book that can be used in grades as early as Kindergarten/First all the way up to Sixth and beyond as there is an excellent Author's Note that serves as a springboard to study the fascinating period of our history when women were elbowing their way to the front to gain more rights! As a second grade teacher I have already purchased multiple copies for my classroom!
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By A Customer on February 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Do you know what bloomers are? Well, if you don't, read the book YOU FORGOT YOUR SKIRT, AMELIA BLOOMER! Amelia is a girl who hates dresses! Amelia was not a proper lady! Amelia thought proper ladies were silly. She thought it was silly that ladies could not work! So she started her own newspaper. She thought it was even sillier that ladies had to wear big, heavy dresses. So she did something about it! My favorite part is when she made the bloomers and wore them. She sort of looked silly and sort of looked cool. I really liked this book because I learned a lot about Women's History. I learned what bloomers are too! And if you want to know what bloomers are...then read this book! - By Danielle S. Age 7
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Format: Hardcover
Amelia Bloomer is a wonderful character, a rebel and achiever who will appeal to any girl from 2 to 20. The story is educational, inspirational and, most importantly, fun to read! Amelia is a woman who does not accept her "proper" place in society and sets out to change the rules. She is tireless in her efforts and is ultimately successful in changing the "proper" place for all women. The illustrations are beautiful. The drawings bring the story and the woman to life, and one can feel Amelia's spunk. I look forward to more books from this duo!
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By A Customer on February 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
My five year old daughter brought this book home from the school library and was eager to read it because she loved the pictures and the "fancy" writing. (The typeface used is quite scrolled and unusual). She was enthralled with the story and had me read it to her three times in a row. She was especially thrilled to hear that this is a true story and a part of our history. The book has nice, large, colorful pages and is written in a light humorous tone. A very entertaining book on a women's history for children.
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Format: Hardcover
My young daughter *adores* this book - we read it over and over and over. She LOVES Amelia Bloomer, loves the story, loves the whimsical and wonderful artwork, and NEVER tires of reading this book! [Neither do I - which is really saying something!]
This is a great introduction to the women's rights movement without being anti-male or overbearingly feminist.
Amelia Bloomer is a wonderful heroine and my daughter never tires of emulating her. She even requested some bloomers to wear which led me to an internet search for "real" bloomers [which we found!] and she loves wearing them under her dresses now.
This book is so much fun to read and look at - it is just Fabulous all the way around!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a lot of fun for children, who love the exaggerated art and the silly expressions -- and who learn an important part of history while enjoying the story. What they learn is that part of the long struggle for women's rights (right to vote, to own property, to keep their children) included the right to wear functional clothing. The story centers on Amelia Bloomer, who came to be credited with the invention of bloomers: long, full trousers that women wore under their bulky skirts. The ending is a bit weak, tapering off into a look at the styles of women's clothing today without stating a clear conclusion on the terms used throughout the story ("proper," in particular).
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Format: Hardcover
"They're closing down girl land..."
Those words are from a song on the album, "Free to Be...You and Me"which came out when i was but a wee laddy. The words to this song very strongly came to mind while I was reading this book.
I love this book. No two ways about it. Not only is it informative, but it's funny, it's light, and it has great artwork. I think the thing about this book that appeals to me the most is how is shows that "femininity" and the rigid reinforcement of can often lead to ridiculous things (such as Victorian fashion). I especially like the ending of this book because it shows that while Amelia Bloomer eventually stopped wearing her bloomers, she triumphed after all. This is a great book for young kids of both sex, so make sure little boys get to read it too.
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