Picturebooks on the Potty: Vol. 1, No. 6

“So I asked my mama, Mama, dear….
And SNIP, SNIP, sew sew… New skirt, hello!” – I Had a Favorite Dress

“Tom was so pleased that he wore that bow-tie in sunshine and in snow, in rain and wind. He ran and jumped and splashed and rolled in it.” – The Blue Coat

Baby Elizabeth and Weezy led us away from the potty for this storytime.

Baby Elizabeth and Weezy enjoyed this week’s stories as much as we did.

Regular readers know that I am working hard to pass on my passions for creative sustainability to my kids. Crafty Cora‘s lessons started early as we used her 3-6 month old clothes to create new fashions for her (mostly-handed-down from big sister Rosa) baby doll collection. Recycled dolls, upcycled clothes. Double win.

This week we happened to bring home a book from the library that helps support this message. Upon reflection, I realized I Had a Favorite Dress (Ashburn & Denos, 2012) wasn’t new to us. It follows the same trajectory we’d read a million times before as the Yiddish song-turned-story told in Joseph Had a Little Overcoat (Taback, 1999) and “The Blue Coat” (Lupton & Fatus, 2001). You can find the latter in a collection called The Story Tree: Tales to Read Aloud which I wrote about last week.

Here’s how it always goes down: Character X has a piece of clothing s/he loves more than anything. Said article gets worn out and X is very sad. Someone helps X to salvage the garment by turning it into something new. X loves the new item and wears it ’til its threadbare. And the cycle continues a few times. Each time, a refrain like those at the top of this post repeats, pulling the reader through the story as if by needle and thread. In the end, X is left with nothing to wear, but a beautiful story to tell about how how to find new uses for old things.


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