We found a kiddie lit gem at the library this week. I Like Old Clothes by Children’s Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman was originally published in 1976 with different illustrations. The poem is about how fabulous second hand clothing is …and even old, “vintage” clothing .The new illustrations by Patrice Barton with this version are gorgeous,bright and have a wonderful handcrafted, comfortable feel.
When somebody grows
I don’t say, “What, those?”
And turn up my nose
The way some people do
When their clothes aren’t new
I love this shrugging off of the attitude that hand me downs are bad . The poem embraces the spirit of second hand…. the idea that a sweater had a life before, in another town ,in another school or that a dress went to parties and did fun things.
“The history and mystery” of old clothes and their usefulness to their new owners is celebrated.The children in the illustrations treasure their thrifted wardrobe, not just for wearing but for playing dress -up and crafting.
There’s a wonderful video here of Mary Ann Hoberman reading the whole book, a copy with the original illustrations by Jacqueline Chwast. She introduces the story by telling the inspiration, her own childhood with hand me down clothes from a cousin who wore fancy dresses and beautiful clothes.
Even though I love the art in this, I can’t help but think it would be cool to come across the original 1976 edition in my thrifting travels!