The Bora-Bora Dress


By Carole Lexa Schaefer, Illustrated by Catherine Stock

Candlewick Press, 2005

Lindsey never ever ever wore a dress. She wore her baggy shorts to run on the beach. She wore her old jeans to climb up to her tree house. She wore her patch overalls to jump in heaps of leaves. “What’s a dress good for, anyway?” said Lindsey.

The answer: Going to her Aunt Fiona’s extremely fancy dress-up party. Lindsey reluctantly lets her mother take her to Miss Beeline’s Girls’ Shop to look — just look –– at dresses. As any tomboy in her right mind would expect, they’re hideous, with fluffy ruffles, lots-of-dots and plaids-and-pleats. (I do enjoy a good hyphenated phrase.) But then Lindsey spies a surprising frock that looks as if it was made just for her. My two-year-old daughter, who points to any dress and says, “I will never, ever wear that,” finds this book quite curious. I think she appreciates long-legged, adventurous, sloppy-in-a-cool-way Lindsey. (There are those hyphens again.) And the illustrations of Aunt Fiona’s party — especially her hedge maze and Tower O’ Cupcakes — are magical. Blissfully, Lindsey doesn’t make a Kafka-esque transformation into Prim and Proper Princess.  She simply comes to the logical conclusion that a good dress serves a purpose as well as jeans.

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