Sunday 12 May 2013

Yellow Dress Day

Yellow Dress Day by Michelle Worthington Illustrated by Sophia Norsa (New Frontier Publishing)
HB RRP $24.95
ISBN 9782921928291
Reviewed by Emma Cameron

Being a fan of dresses and colour means Ava’s heart only needs one look outside each morning to know what colour dress is right for that day. As pages turn readers see different types of weather meld with desires for particular colours. The day in this book’s tale is a ‘whisling, whirly, windy day’, requiring a yellow dress. But said dress is not in the cupboard, or drawer, or under Ava’s bed!

Ava recalls that yesterday was a windy day too, which saw her jumping and tumbling through piles of leaves. She checks the laundry to find the dress is in the wash. Her heart sinks. Luckily Mum finds old dress-up clothes. Various possibilities, all yellow, emerge. Ava has choices and, dressed as a daffodil, heads outside.

The wind is still present though its strength has pushed all clouds away and Ava is tugged about by the gusts till she tumbles happily in the sunlight. At the day’s end she sits on a tree branch with her mum and puppy to conclude that this was ‘the best yellow dress day ever’. Young girls are sure to agree and find much in this sweet tale to identify with as well as talk about, especially as they peruse the illustrations.

Whimsy abounds in vivid, distinct and attention-grabbing water colour by a young artist who knows how to capture the world through the eyes of an even younger audience. Colour and lots of movement capture the overall mood of characters and story. Facial expressions of Ava and her puppy tell so much, hers in relation to her own emotion and the pup’s in response to Ava’s feelings and the overall situation that is obviously puzzling to him.

Part of the proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to the International Rett Syndrome Foundation on behalf of Ava Lardes and the book is sure to be a very welcome addition to all libraries.

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