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Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress Hardcover – May 13, 2014
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Throughout this heartening story, touches of tangerine point to the elements in Morris's world that are important to him: his mother's flaming tresses; his cat, Moo; and a dress from the school dress-up box. When he wears it, he feels wonderful. White is a well-chosen background foil for Malenfant's watercolors and charcoals; the soft acrylics comprising the vibrant dress "bleed"-a perfect effect for indicating movement. A marvelous spread shows Morris reveling in the color that swirls across the gutter as he thinks about his mother's hair, tigers, and the sun. The text details the fabric's swishes and crinkles and the click of the boy's heels. When the children tease and ostracize him, he pretends not to notice, but by Friday, he stays home with a stomachache. The role of adults is particularly well handled. There is no deus ex machina (teacher intervention), a situation that rings true for many such interactions. His mother does not pass judgment when she notices a boy wearing a dress in her son's painting, and she complies with his desire for nail polish. This support and Morris's irrepressible imagination buoy him as he returns to school, where his creative spaceship is a magnet for the boys; walls begin to crumble. Baldacchino offers an alternative model for families to the one depicted in Marcus Ewert's 10,000 Dresses (Seven Stories, 2008), and rather than presenting an overt message about gender identity, the book provides a subtle and refreshing glimpse at a boy who simply likes to dress up.—Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library
Selected for the American Library Association's Rainbow List
Finalist for the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award
Finalist for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award
Finalist for the Blue Spruce Award
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
Kirkus Reviews selection for Best Picture Book Celebrating Diversity
A Cooperative Children's Book Center Choice
A Huffington Post Best Picture Book of the Year
"Morris is a complex character whose creativity and personality shine. . . . Sensitive and reassuring." Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"[R]ather than presenting an overt message about gender identity, the book provides a subtle and refreshing glimpse at a boy who simply likes to dress up." School Library Journal
"Baldacchino doesn’t sugar-coat the teasing and isolation Morris endures. . . . Malenfant showcases Morris’s full emotional spectrum." Publishers Weekly
"Unlike some more messagey titles on the subject, this one provides Morris with a personality beyond his dress-loving nature, making him enjoyable literary company." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Baldacchino’s gentle story sensitively depicts gender nonconforming children, offering them reassurance and, one hopes, acceptance by introducing other children to the concept." Booklist
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Do you like dresses? I the realistic fiction story "Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress," by Christine Baldacchino, a boy named...Read more