Dress Like a Girl

Image of Dress Like a Girl
Release Date: 
January 22, 2019
HarperCollins Children
Reviewed by: 

“Dress Like a Girl is an empowerment book.”

Dress Like a Girl is an empowerment book. How many times have people used “like a girl” to humiliate a guy? You throw like a girl. You run like a girl. Not in this book. When you dress like a girl, you are dressing up as a doctor, an astronaut, a marine biologist, a fire fighter, a band leader, a construction worker, or an arctic explorer. Dressing like a girl in this book means getting to try on any job or occupation that you want.

The whole book is in second person, with the writer speaking directly to the reader. Do this, but never don’t do that. A girl can do anything she can think of.  Girls these days don’t know any differently.  his book won’t be controversial in today’s age, a far cry from girls in the ’60s and ’70s who were told to be secretaries, teachers, or nurses. 

The rhymes are not always perfect. “When you’re catching a play or a grand symphony/ a black gown will drape down quite elegantly.”

Sometimes the rhymes are perfect. “With patterns it’s best to be subtle, my friend./Join a safari/and you’ll be on trend.”

The art is jaunty and colorful. The girls are diverse in skin color, hair styles, and clothing; however, there are no fat girls or girls in wheelchairs. Hopefully there will be someday, so that all girls see themselves in the pages of a book. Parents make an appearance on a couple of pages.

Most pages show lots of white background, so the colors really pop. Only one double-page spread has a full-color background. The back cover shows a rack with a Super Girl costume, overalls, a ballet outfit, and various types of footwear.

This is a fun book that might have been more groundbreaking 20 years ago than it is today. Girls don’t know a different world where their gender would have determined their occupation. It is more for the parent or grandparent that grew up in a different world. She will enjoy reading the book to her fully empowered daughter or granddaughter, remembering back to when it was not necessarily a compliment to say, “You dress like a girl.”