Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress

by Christine Baldacchino and Isabelle Malenfant

“Morris Micklewhite has a mother named Moira and a cat named Moo.” He... read more

“Morris Micklewhite has a mother named Moira and a cat named Moo.” He likes Sundays because Sundays mean pancakes. And he likes Mondays because Mondays mean school, where the list of likable things is a long one, but at the top is the tangerine dress in the dress-up center. “He likes the noise the dress makes — swish, swish, swish when he walks and crinkle, crinkle, crinkle when he sits down.” He pretends not to notice when other kids make fun of him for wearing the dress or nail polish, but he can hear what they say, and every day it’s something mean. By Friday, Morris doesn’t want to go to school. He stays home, where he feels safe and loved and free to imagine a boy in a tangerine dress riding a blue elephant. On Monday, he’s ready for school again. “When he had the chance, he put on the dress that reminded him of tigers and the sun and his mother’s hair.” Lively, lyrical writing further distinguishes a picture book already notable for featuring a child who conforms to his own understanding of who he is rather than what those around him expect him to be based on gender. And in the end, Morris’s classmates don’t see a boy in a dress, they see a boy with an imagination that can take them all far. (Ages 3–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2015

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