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Morris Micklewhite and the tangerine dress
2014
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Morris (Boy), Has a vivid imagination; loves wearing the tangerine dress;
Genre
Fiction
Juvenile
Topics
Children
School
Space and time
Gender identity
Gender roles
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Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

Baldacchino debuts with a sensitive story that joins books like My Princess Boy and Jacob's New Dress on a growing shelf of titles that offer support and understanding to gender-nonconforming boys. Baldacchino's redheaded hero loves wearing the tangerine dress in his classroom's dress-up center: "It reminds him of tigers, the sun and his mother's hair." A significant part of the book's strength lies in the author's portrait of Morris as a boy with much more to him than what he wears: Morris likes painting, puzzles, running around outside, and pretending to be an astronaut-the dress is just one of many things he enjoys. His classmates aren't so accepting, and Baldacchino doesn't sugarcoat the teasing and isolation Morris endures. Working in charcoal, watercolor, and other media, Malenfant (Once Upon a Balloon) showcases Morris's full emotional spectrum: the joy the dress brings him, the hurt his peers' taunts inflict, the refuge he finds at home with his quietly supportive mother, and the satisfaction that accompanies his success in helping two classmates understand that "it didn't matter if astronauts wore dresses or not." Ages 4-7. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
Morris is a little boy who loves using his imagination. But most of all, Morris loves wearing the tangerine dress in his classroom's dress-up center. The children in Morris's class don't understand. Dresses, they say, are for girls. And Morris certainly isn't welcome in the spaceship some of his classmates are building. Astronauts, they say, don't wear dresses. One day when Morris feels all alone and sick from their taunts, his mother lets him stay home from school. Morris dreams of a fantastic space adventure with his cat, Moo. Inspired by his dream, Morris paints the incredible scene he saw and brings it with him to school. He builds his own spaceship, hangs his painting on the front of it and takes two of his classmates on an outer space adventure. With warm, dreamy illustrations, Isabelle Malenfant perfectly captures Morris's vulnerability and the vibrancy of his imagination.<br>
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