Posted by Venus on Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Labels: picture book review
Illustrations by Isabelle Malenfant
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Release Date: May 1, 2014
Morris dreams about space adventures and loves to paint beautiful pictures. He also loves his classroom's dress-up center where he can wear the tangerine dress. Although Morris is just being himself, the other children in his class do not understand. He isn't welcome to play with them anymore, they tease him, and the bullying reaches a point where Morris wants to just stay home from school. However, Morris will not be kept down for long and soon he is back at school, painting his pictures and going on space adventures--in his tangerine dress.
As reviewed a few month's ago, Jacob's New Dress dealt with this very topic. As I stated there, this is one of those "issue" books that caters to a very specialized need. As with Jacob's New Dress, this book does not delve into the morality of the situation. Unlike that book, Morris' parents are sorely lacking from the story, which is why this book didn't work as well for me. The mother is there, but how they are dealing with this is rather important for a story as the psychologically support of parents is integral for children dealing with this issue. I also disliked the language that the children used. Although, I understand that this is supposed to be a book that encourages inclusiveness, what I saw instead was a way to introduce new bullying language into children's vernacular. In other words, this book is great for kids dealing with these issues, but perhaps not the book you want to read to a classroom full of children to show diversity. It's an important book to have available and I am glad that there are a few of these books out there now, but I don't necessarily think they will all have the same desired effect.