In the book world, the month of November is dedicated to reading and sharing nonfiction books. This month I’ll be sharing some non-fiction books that I think would be great for readers, young and old. These books will cover various topics and interests. If you’d like to see previous #NonFicNov posts, click HERE to see more amazing non-fiction books.
DRESSING UP THE STARS
The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith Head
By: Jeanne Walker Harvey
Illustrated by: Diana Toledano
Published: September 20, 2022
Publisher: Beach Lane Books
Most kids today likely haven’t heard of Edith Head, but her years designing costumes for some of the most famous stars and movies during the 1940s to 1980s led her to earn her own Walk of Fame Star in Hollywood.
Edith was a girl who lived in the middle of the desert with no siblings to play with. She dressed up her pets and had tea parties with her dolls to entertain herself. When the family went to town, she asked for fabric scraps from the ladies in town and even made costumes for her friends who liked to perform on stage. That was never Edith’s interest though. She preferred to be behind the scenes even always wearing black, grey, or white so the stars she was dressing would shine and not her.
After a lot of failure and years of hard work, Edith finally got the chance to create costumes for some of the biggest stars in the movies. Some of her famous designs were worn by actors Fred Astaire, Clark Gable, Julie Andrews, Jane Fonda, and even Steve Martin. She even accepted numerous Academy Awards for Best Costume Design.
With Edith’s small town and quiet upbringing she never would have guessed she would be creating costumes for famous movie stars. Her hard work, initiative to try new things, and willingness to stand up for herself helped Edith become the famous costume designer that movie directors begged to have on their sets.
If you have a child who loves fashion or movies, choose to watch one of the old movies that Edith created costumes for like “White Christmas” and read this book. Her inspiring story may just lead your child to be the next Academy Award winner for Best Costume Design.
Check out the book trailer for DRESSING UP THE STARS:
Check out the downloadable activity kit, HERE.
Jeanne Walker Harvey has had many jobs, ranging from working as a roller coaster ride operator to an attorney for high-tech companies to writing magazine articles to a teacher of Language Arts and writing workshops at a public middle school. She has also been a longtime docent at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She is the author of several books for young readers, including the picture book biographies Dressing up the Stars: The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith Head, Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas, Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines and My Hands Sing the Blues: Romare Bearden’s Childhood Journey. Jeanne studied literature and psychology at Stanford University. She lives in Northern California. Visit her online at www.jeanneharvey.com.
Diana Toledano is the illustrator of picture books including One Snowy Day by Diana Murray and the Polly Diamond series by Alice Kuipers. She grew up in Spain and now lives in Sacramento with her husband and their young daughter. Learn more at Diana-Toledano.com.