A little girl and her favorite dress dream of an extraordinary life. They enjoy simple pleasures together on a beautiful Greek island. They watch the sunset, do chores, and pick wildflowers on the way home. One day, the dress and the girl must leave the island and immigrate to the United States. Upon arrival, the girl is separated from the trunk carrying her favorite dress, and she fears her dress is lost forever. Many years later, the girl—now all grown up—spots the dress in a thrift store window. As the two are finally reunited, the memories of their times together come flooding back. While the girl can no longer wear the dress, it’s now perfect for her own daughter—and the new journey of a girl and her dress begins. Featuring lush illustrations, The Dress and the Girl is a stunning picture book about memory and the power of the items we hold most dear.
Graceful artwork by Morstad (When Green Becomes Tomatoes) creates an elegiac atmosphere for a story that unfolds in a small Greek village, where blue shutters and red tiles enliven the whitewashed walls. Andros (Charlotte the Scientist Is Squished) writes about a dress ("much like many others, made for a girl by her mother") and a girl; together, they spend their days "picking daffodils, feeling the wind, and staring at the stars" and longing for the extraordinary. When the girl's family emigrates to turn-of-the-century America, the trunk that contains her dress goes missing. One narrative thread personifies the dress, imagining it "searching" the world over for the girl before the dress and the girl, now grown, reunite and remember their shared "singular, stunning, or sensational" history. While the conceit of the dress as an active character feels a bit clunky, the lyrical text and evocative art will make readers linger. Ages 4 8. Author's agent: Lori Kilkelly of Rodeen Literary Management. Illustrator's agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management.