Never out of print since its 1944 publication, this tender story offers readers of all ages a timeless message of compassion and understanding. At its heart is Wanda Petronski, an immigrant girl in an American school, who is ridiculed for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. When she tells her classmates that she has one hundred dresses at home, she unwittingly triggers a game of teasing that eventually ends in a lesson for all.
In restoring the reproduction of Louis Slobodkin's artwork, this new edition recaptures the original vivid color. And to celebrate the book's enhanced beauty, Helena Estes, the daughter of the author, has written a new letter to readers about the true story behind "The Hundred Dresses.
- ISBN-13: 9780152051709
- ISBN-10: 0152051708
- Publisher: Clarion Books
- Publish Date: September 2004
- Dimensions: 8.59 x 6.86 x 0.53 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.79 pounds
- Page Count: 80
- Reading Level: Ages 6-9
Setting things right
Eleanor Estes earned a Newbery Honor in 1945 for The Hundred Dresses, the story of a little immigrant girl named Wanda who wears the same dress to school every day. When she gets tired of being teased, she tells her classmates that her closet at home contains 100 dresses. This "restored" edition brings the delicate lines and colors of Louis Slobodkin's art to life.
There's also a new letter to readers from Helena Estes about how her mother came to write this classic (these background notes are always fascinating). It turns out that the author was inspired by a girl in her own class who always wore the same dress and was teased, and then moved away. Helena Estes explains that her mother never had a chance to apologize: "What could she do so many years later, my mother wondered, to set things rightto reach out to the girl who had stood lonely and silent against the red brick wall of the school? Well, she thought, the one thing she could do was to write her story."
Why does our school district pick such a book for required reading, one so seemingly a "girl's story"? It's a splendid talethat's whyand a grand lesson on teasing, bullying and forgiveness.
Alice Cary writes from Groton, Massachusetts.