Little People, Big Dreams: Coco Chanel by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and Ana Albero
|Little People, Big Dreams: Coco Chanel by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and Ana Albero|
|Category: Emerging Readers|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The first in a series of books for emerging readers telling the story of people who had dreams as children which they fulfilled as they got older. Every school library should have a copy.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: February 2016|
|Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books|
Gabrielle Chanel lived in an orphanage in a French town and after the death of her mother she went to a strict convent school. The fact that she was different didn't make her life easy, but there were early indications that she was going to be a seamstress. After she left school she sewed by day and sang by night and it was as she sang that she gained her nickname - Coco - which came from the soldiers in the audience. But her dream was designing clothes and the first step was designing and making hats: this led to her opening a hat shop. One evening, at a party she realised that a lot of the women weren't dancing: their corsets were so tight that they could hardly breathe and it was this that prompted Coco to create a new style. Her clothes were simple, straight and comfortable to wear.
It's an inspirational story: even from humble beginnings and without a lot of support it is possible to achieve your dreams and Isabel Sanchez Vegara's story illustrates this perfectly. The tale is told in simple language without being at all patronising and the vocabulary is appropriate and occasionally challenging. The font used for the main text is clear, but I did hesitate for a moment as I read what the young Gabrielle was writing on the blackboard until I realised that Jo be irreplaceable... was actually meant to be To be irreplaceable... That's a minor niggle though in a book which otherwise delivers well.
The content will suit younger children, but there are notes at the back which give fuller details of Chanel's life and there are suggestions for further reading and even a museum which you could visit if you were in New York. The story will appeal to children with an interest in the visual arts, but the beautifully-produced hardback which I read would do sterling service in a school library. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
Adults looking for more about Chanel will find a short and punchy biography in Amazing Women: Inspirational Stories by Charles Margerison. If you like the idea of a fashion-inspired colouring book we can recommend Style Guide: Fashion From Head to Toe by Natasha Slee and Becca Stadtlander. We've also enjoyed The School of Art: Learn How To Make Great Art With 40 Simple Lessons by Teal Triggs and Daniel Frost.
You can read more book reviews or buy Little People, Big Dreams: Coco Chanel by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and Ana Albero at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Little People, Big Dreams: Coco Chanel by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and Ana Albero at Amazon.com.
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