The New York Times
In “I Had a Favorite Dress,” Denos, whose charming pastels were the graceful illustrations in "Just Being Audrey,” published earlier this year, uses a similar palette this time, but more varied technique. The drawings have a D.I.Y. looseness, evoking paper dolls and fashion editor “inspiration boards.” The story follows a girl (she appears to be 7 or so) as she discovers a cherished dress is suddenly too short. “I couldn’t bear the thought of not wearing my favoritest dress,” she says. (It is the book’s one cringe-inducing line.) But what to do? Rather than getting rid of the dress, the kicky heroine and her mother repurpose it into a shirt. And as the girl grows, her dress grows with her (or shrinks, rather, as it is transformed into a tank top and then a scarf.) What could have been yet another example of kindergarten consumerism instead becomes one of resourcefulness and resilience.
In a spunky story about adjusting to change with creativity and style, a young fashionista loves her salmon-pink dress with its striped bodice and ruffles, wearing it every Tuesday, her favorite day of the week. But one day, the dress is too short, so Mama, dressed in her own boho-stylish clothes, works some refashioning magic, "And snip, snip, sew, sew... New shirt, hello!" When the sleeves get too tight, Mama turns it into a tank top and later a skirt, which the girl wears every Friday, her new favorite day—for the moment. Readers should enjoy the beloved dress's transitions (including incarnations as a scarf and a pair of socks), which are vibrantly conveyed through Denos's (Dotty) mixed-media collages composed of hip colors, jazzy patterns, and delicate pencilwork. Ashburn's (Over at the Castle) prose is shot through with loose internal rhymes ("And my new cool-for-school skirt looked just right with my favorite tights! I wore it one Friday and it felt just right"), giving the story a buoyancy to match its heroine. Tailor-made, so to speak, for the Etsy generation of DIY enthusiasts. Ages 4–6. (Aug.)
Wall Street Journal
Everyone is smiling in the buoyant confections created by illustrator Julia Denos—including, it’s fair to say, young readers looking at them. Endearing picture book.
A sprightly, modernized and girly version of the Jewish folktale “The Tailor,” which also formed the foundation of Simms Taback’s Caldecott-winning Joseph Had a Little Overcoat. An unnamed girl recounts how every Tuesday, her favorite day, she wears her “favoritest” dress. Until the day she finds her dress is too short! Mama says, “Don’t make mountains out of molehills, make molehills out of mountains.” Snip, snip, the dress becomes a new ruffly shirt to wear on Wednesday. When the shirt becomes too tight in the sleeves, snip, snip, it becomes a breezy tank top, then a cool skirt, then a tassely scarf, a pair of socks and a pretty hair bow, finally ending up as scraps and bits. Heeding her mother’s advice, she turns the snippets into a piece of art that she can enjoy year-round. The digitally collaged mixed-media illustrations of watercolors, graphite, colored pencil and needle and thread are what give the story its bounce and flounce. Breezy in style, they smartly stitch each scene of alteration as the not-so-little girl sashays through the days of the week and the seasons. A charming interpretation of an old story that will speak to young fashionistas. (Picture book. 4-8)