Fashionista by Maxine Beneba Clarke
Hachette, 2019. ISBN: 9780734418975.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Fashion, Individuality, Self image. A bright and breezy homage to being yourself is offered by Clarke in this exciting book. Each page offers a different set of clothing and movements as the young person dons different swathes of clothes, all individually teamed with a choice of other accessories to make a statement. This is me!
Each page exhorts the reader to stand out from the crowd, be individual, be different, follow their own hearts rather than follow the restrictions others may place on them.
In bold rhyming lines, which encourage the reader to predict the rhyming words, the text flows across each page, using differing fonts to engage and attract the reader.
But the images are outstanding: each page is full of movement as the characters show off the clothes they are wearing, sometimes just the heads are shown, displaying the hair colour, hair cuts or hats, sometimes the feet are shown with different shoes, but mostly each page has a full body image, full of life, humour and colour as each image says quite clearly -
This is me and I am proud.
Nods to fashion icons, Prince, Beyonce and Serena Williams appear in the book, along with the everyday clothing bought from stores, recycled from friends or the charity shop, handed down from family.
Clarke uses collage effectively, teaming her watercolour pencil with magazine cut-outs placed onto textured paper. Some classes will have a great deal of fun using her techniques as a basis for their own work after reading this book.
Full of bounce, verve and humour, readers will love looking at the variety of colour and style Clarke shows in her salute to being an individual, encouraging the readers to look differently at what they wear.