Sunday, August 12, 2012

Children's Book Saturday "I Like Old Clothes" By: Mary Ann Hoberman

"I Like Old Clothes"
By: Mary Ann Hoberman
I like old clothes, / Hand-me-down clothes, / Worn outgrown clothes, / Not-my-own clothes. . . . Originally published by Knopf in 1976 (with illustrations by Jacqueline Chwast), this poem-an exuberant celebration of hand-me-down clothes-is just as relevant and accessible today as it was over 30 years ago. Children's Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman offers a bouncy, fun-to-read-aloud text and a refreshingly agreeable, resourceful protagonist who likes old clothes for their "history" and "mystery." Illustrator Patrice Barton brings new, contemporary life to the poem, with an adorable little girl and her younger brother playing dress-up, making crafts, and happily treasuring their hand-me-downs.
My Thoughts: 
        An incredibly cute, whimsical story about a little girl loving clothing and the adventures they've had, "I Like Old Clothes" is a great story that I simply loved. With a simple verse that is easy to read, the reader takes an adventure entirely through clothes. Interesting and imaginative, you actually smile as you read about where the used clothes have been and what they've been doing.
      When I finished the story, I immediately thought of the book as an adventure book - you never knew where you would end up. Through the book she's a soldier, a fancy lady, and even a wild child with a dress and a party hat. Each trip is entirely told through imagination, which makes the story a little more magical. "When I wear them, Then I say, "Clothes, I wonder who wore you before you were mine? Was she light-haired or dark-haired, seven or nine? Did you make her look awful or make her look fine?" (I Like Old Clothes)
       The illustrations are done by Patrice Barton, who also has illustrated titles such as "Mine" by Shutta Crum, "The Looking Book" by P.K. Hallinan, and "Sweet Moon Baby" By: Karen H. Clark . Most of the colors are muted and calming. A sense of whimsy and fun are infused within each illustration. Time and care was taken in these paintings, you can feel the love in each brush stroke.
      "I Like Old Clothes" is a wonderful read aloud book for children. Groups or one-on-one, it doesn't matter. The story and the illustrations work wonderfully together to leave one feeling happy when finished. Probably not best for the pre-school crowd, I think I would share this one with Kindergarten and up. A wonderful combination of a great story and wonderful pictures, "I Like Old Clothes" is sure to be a favorite with many children.

Book Details
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Date of Publication: August 14, 2012
# of Pages: 32
ISBN: 978-0375869518


  1. I love the cover! I'm going to have to look for this one as a way to encourage dress up fun!