Along Came Coco: A Story About Coco Chanel

Image of Along Came Coco: A Story About Coco Chanel
Release Date: 
March 19, 2019
Abrams Books for Young Readers
Reviewed by: 

Coco Chanel was an orphan who grew up in a convent in the French countryside. The nuns taught her how to sew. She didn’t like having to brush her hair with one hundred strokes a day. She planned to cut her hair short as soon as she could. Her aunt made hats, and on a visit, Coco decided she wanted to make hats, too.

After Coco left the convent, a family friend helped her open a millinery shop in Paris. Then she designed a comfortable bathing suit for 1914 women. She added pockets to women’s clothing. She did so well with designing fashions that she was able to buy a building in Paris. Then one day there was a gas lamp explosion in her house, which burned some of her hair. She cut it short. Her dress was ruined, so she made a new one for the opera with no corset underneath, her invention of the little black dress.

The end of the book has a final paragraph about Coco Chanel, an author’s note, and a bibliography page.

The end papers are pale gray with black and pale gray fashion design sketches. The book’s palette is gray, black, pinks, and pops of color against the pastel backgrounds. The cover is inviting, showing Coco in her nautical striped top design and a black skirt, holding up a string of gold beads, her long hair tucked under one of her hat designs. The book is classy enough to grace a coffee table.  An adult might learn a thing or two about the famous fashion icon.

For any child who likes clothing or a success story, Along Came Coco will fit the bill. For any child who wants to do a biography report on an influential woman, this book on Coco Chanel fills the bill again. She might not have been a president’s wife, a suffragist, or an American icon, but she was a pioneer in women’s fashion that affected the western world. This book is another choice for girls writing biographies about a successful, self-made woman.