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Page history last edited by RichiesPicks 10 years, 8 months ago

15 April 2012 I LIKE OLD CLOTHES by Mary Ann Hoberman and Patrice Barton, ill. Knopf, August 2012, 32p., ISBN: 978-0-375-86951-4


“Do you have a shirt that you really love,

One that you feel so groovy in?

You don’t even mind if it starts to fade,

That only makes it nicer still.”



Check out my Facebook page or the Richie’s Picks website.  See that flannel shirt I’m wearing? It is the softest, most comfortable, most wonderful thing in the whole world.  I’ll never forget how head over heels I was last year when I discovered and purchased it -- for four bucks -- at the Salvation Army Thrift Store in San Rafael. 


I can’t imagine who wore that flannel shirt before me.  How could they give up something so soft and so lovely?  I was recently devastated when I misplaced it for a couple of weeks.  Fortunately, I’d just stuck it in the wrong place in the closet. 


I love my shirt. 


"When somebody grows

And gives me her clothes,

I don't say, 'What, those?’

And turn up my nose

The way some people do

When their clothes aren’t new.

I like old clothes.

I really do.”


I recently read an article discussing how we need an Earth and a half in order to sustain the current trajectory of worldwide population and economic growth.  And so, radically increasing reuse and recycling of all sorts of stuff is going to be an essential component of our not running out of planet. 


But buying used has always been fun for me:  Used books.  Used furniture for the house.  Used toys for the kids.  Used Jerry Garcia neckties, and used jeans and used flannel shirts for me.  As the world of technology has so thoroughly evolved in recent decades, I’ve spent less and less time walking around the Sebastopol Flea Market on weekends, and more time buying used stuff online. 


I LIKE OLD CLOTHES is a wonderful reinterpretation of the 1976 picture book by Mary Ann Hoberman.  This time around, the characters who are donning used clothes are a bit younger than the tweens depicted three-plus decades ago.  And here, the visual story more clearly emphasizes the reuse of clothing as playing dress-up.  (The original book was published several years before Madonna began showing how fun, creative, and sexy, playing dress-up can be for all of us.)


Utilizing interplay of colored pencils and mixed media, illustrator Patrice Barton portrays a lush summery child’s world filled with simple pleasures like playing hopscotch, crafting sock puppets, organizing a tea party for the stuffed animals, and dressing up the family cat.


“And each time I wear them

I try to imagine

The places they’ve been

And the faces they’ve seen—

And whose clothes they’ll be

When they’ve finished with me.”


I like old clothes.  And I really like this book.


Richie Partington

Richie’s Picks http://richiespicks.com


Moderator http://groups.yahoo.com/group/middle_school_lit/ http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/people/faculty/partingtonr/partingtonr.php


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