Review of the Week: “Morris Micklewhite”

morrisBaldacchino, Christine. Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress. Isabelle Malenfant, Illustrator. Picture Book. Groundwood, 2014. [32]p. $16.95. 978-1-5549-8347-6. OUTSTANDING. GRADES PRE-3.

Despite his classmates’ taunts and cruel remarks, Morris loves putting on fingernail polish, shoes with clicking heels, and the tangerine-colored dress that “reminds him of tigers, the sun, and his mother’s hair.” He is mostly rejected by kids at school, until Eli and Henry learn how Morris’ rich imagination can lead them into some seriously awesome play. New friendships are fostered, and Morris’ confidence soars. Handsome mixed-media illustrations shine brightest when depicting the beloved dress—a gorgeous, hazy swirl of punched-up orange—and Morris’ dreamy-eyed contentment when wearing the garment. Lyrical text with well-chosen repetition reads aloud beautifully. An
expressive and emotionally resonant representation of gender variance that will inspire discussion in the library, classroom, and at home.

Miriam Medow, Oakland Public Library

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