Sunday, February 27, 2022

Review: Fashionista: Fashion Your Feelings by Maxine Beneba Clarke

In today's read, I'm giving you a super-early peek into the future. So early, that this may not even be the final cover! (Ooos and aahhhs are probably echoing right now.) The idea of inspiring young readers to embrace their emotions and let them shine through their clothes...and feel pressured to fit a certain norm... shines like a beacon in this book. It is scheduled for release in December. 

Ready to take a look? 

Fashion Your Feelings
by Maxine Beneba Clarke
Candlewick Press
Picture Book / Fashion
48 pages
ages 6 to 9


Crackling with energy and flair, this stylish book from Maxine Beneba Clarke—author of The Patchwork Bike and creator of When We Say Black Lives Matter—is all about the power of self-expression.

Put on your PASSION.
Wear your HEART on your sleeve.

Work it. Rock it. BELIEVE.

Sometimes you go for clothes that are comfy-careless or just-blend-in fine. Or maybe you’re in the mood for something more chic-a-bam! Lipstick that shimmers. Knee-high boots for steppin’ out on 
the town. Fancy-frolic in feathers. Whatever you wear, find something you love and fast-make it
 your thing. Wear your wardrobe however—chic-a-boom! You’re a fashionista! Alive with bold, vibrant, minimalist illustrations, Maxine Beneba Clarke’s freeform text celebrates the joy of 
expressing yourself through fashion.


Art melds into unapologetic fashion in a way which encourages readers to embrace their feelings and let them shine in a look they can call their own.

Designed for the elementary school audience, this is an easy read which encourages and inspires. The illustrations carry a modern and textured flair, allowing the idea of creativity to come across loud and clear. The people aren't defined with features, and that matches them theme wonderfully. I'm not always a fan of this type of artwork, but in this case, it harmonizes with the idea of allowing your own style to radiate to the rest of the world.

The text is very simple and carries a poetic atmosphere. The words aren't simply printed but hit various fonts, colors and are shown are different backgrounds. While this read could work for younger readers, it's the meaning behind the words, which make this one for those in grades 1 to 4. It presents people not only in all sorts of patterns, clothes, and colors, but also stretches across generations to round off a message that includes everyone. 

Not only is it inspiring and carries a wonderful message of individuality, but it's an easy way (I want to say painless when I think of how my own kids) to slide the themes of modern art and poetry in as well. 

And here she is...

Maxine Beneba Clarke is an award-winning Australian writer and slam poet champion of 
Afro-Caribbean descent. She is the author of The Patchwork Bike, illustrated by Van Thanh Rudd, 
which received a Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, and the author-illustrator of the critically 
acclaimed When We Say Black Lives Matter. Maxine Beneba Clarke’s poetry and short fiction 
have won several prizes, including an Australian Independent Bookseller Indie Book Award 
and a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry. She lives in Australia.

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