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A Pattern for Pepper by Julie Kraulis
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A Pattern for Pepper

by Julie Kraulis

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Pepper is getting ready for a special occasion and, as part of that, she gets to pick out a new dress for herself. Not just any old dress though -- this one will be custom made with a fabric of Pepper's own choosing. The tailor walks her through a number of available choices, explaining the background behind each type of patterned fabric.

This is a sweet book with no real conflict or overarching moral/lesson, just a little girl having to make a decision about what suits her best. The history of the different patterns was informative and traversed the globe. However, there was a serious dearth of diversity in the characters named and illustrated. The text relies heavily on dialogue, with some loosely repetitive phrases.

Overall, this was a pleasant enough read but not one that I'm rushing out to recommend; I don't even have a particular interest in re-reading it like with so many other picture books. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Oct 3, 2017 |
It's not often that you come across a children's picture book that has so many amazing unique elements to it - it's soothing storytelling not only gives you the main character's good-natured adventure and are emotionally invested in the outcome, but you will also learn things that you will not soon forget! And when I say "you" I mean whomever is reading the book - whether you're a child, parent, teacher, etc.

In A PATTERN FOR PEPPER, Pepper is in need of a new dress for a special occasion so her mother takes her to their family tailor, who is conveniently named Mr. Taylor - which may have been done purposely for the young reader to remember and relate Mr. Taylor to his job as a tailor, but made me and my boys giggle at the coincidence... Mr. Taylor is determined to help Pepper find the perfect fabric for her dress and introduces her to many patterns - houndstooth, toile, argyle, and many others. With each pattern that is introduced to Pepper, Mr. Taylor explains what the fabric is, or why and how the pattern got it's name - very fun and informative! I've never given much thought to fabric patterns before, and as someone who comes from a long line of maternal seamstresses you'd think I would have known some of these!

After a few patterns are introduced and Pepper answers as to why none of them would work for her, Mr. Taylor finally finds the perfect fabric for Pepper, and together, they design, cut, piece and sew the dress... in the end, we see Pepper wearing her beautiful new dress to her special occasion and the entire story falls into place...

The illustrations are unbelievably remarkable - soft pencil drawings, and yet memorable and bold. It is hard to explain, but it is as if the illustrator poured their heart into each and every stroke of their pencil... and considering that this story was inspired by the author's mother and grandmother, I'm guessing that I may be right on this feeling...

What I loved most about this book is that if you pay attention to ALL of the illustrations, Mr. Taylor's explanations and stories of each pattern and all the little details that one may miss the first time reading, there is underlying story that you can also piece together - and it is the sweetest thing to see how everything in this book ties together so beautifully! Which will make you want to re-read the story, over and over again to feel the love and warmth of it all.

A definite favorite for those who love to sew, loves clothes, pattern, history or just a thoughtful and engaging story to share with someone they adore!

*A hardcover copy was sent to me by the publisher, Tundra Books, for an honest review.
All thoughts here are my own. ( )
  thebumblegirl | Aug 1, 2017 |
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