This post was written by Jenny McIntosh for babaà knitwear. The babaà project is to make quality knitwear for everyday use. Babaà is produced in Spain using only 100% natural materials that are designed to last, sourcing local providers and supporting the local textile industry. Their designs are oversized and loose fitting for extra comfort; made for everyone, to be worn everyday. Simple, timeless knits to be cherished forever.
I have a confession: sometimes I fall in love with a book just because of the way a character dresses. As an English Lit. graduate, it feels shameful to admit it but there it is.
It all started when I was about 10 or 11 and completely crazy about pre-teen ballet stories. For me, those stories were everything I loved combined: dancing, rags-to-riches, boarding schools, travel and yes: clothes. I loved their uniforms, their costumes, what they wore to rehearse – all of it. And lucky for me, it was all described down to the smallest detail. It seemed to me that because the author deemed it important enough to write, what people wore must be important. Furthermore, since these girls were held up as beacons of morality – and I was a very moral child – they were amongst my first heroes. That they were allowed to be interested in clothes gave me permission to do the same.
So, now that my current reading material is largely of the early childhood variety (and with my full assurance that I do read books for more than just sartorial pleasure!), here are a few picture books in which the characters’ clothes might play a part in why these books are amongst my favourites…
Anything by Shirley Hughes. I love her proportions – especially on the girls. And the colours! Just look at those stripy pyjamas. I always want to dress like the mothers.
Dogger, Written and illustrated by Shirley Hughes.
The girl’s clothes are nice but what I really like are the bunny’s many shorts.
Dear Bunny…, Written by Katie Cotton and illustrated by Blanca Gómez.
A new find. I’d happily dress my youngest in anything Emily wears.
Emily’s Balloon, Written and illustrated by Komako Sakai.
I could never forget Extra Yarn, in which the story is all about knitwear.
Extra Yarn, Written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen.
And finally, not strictly a children’s picture book but I couldn’t leave out Kari Suomalainen’s illustrations of babies and children. I love them.
Little Ones, A collection of illustrations by Kari Suomalainen.