I love the regularity in which new titles appear in the Little People, Big Dreams series and I love it even more when the title celebrates the life of someone I haven’t heard of.
Growing up in Queens, New York, only child Iris was surrounded by fabrics and loved nothing more than exploring the different colours and patterns. These early childhood experiences led to a life dedicated to fashion. Iris had style, flair and creativity and she made it her mission to find textiles that she wanted to wear, not to impress others but to wear to be herself. Bringing colour and fun with her wherever she went, the ‘rarest bird in the fashion world’ was her own style icon…
In a world where we are expected to conform and fit in, Iris’ story is a wonderful one about the joys of standing out and daring to be different. Iris had a passion and she followed it even when others offered unflattering opinions, while Iris was at university she was told that she was not pretty but she had style. With fashion and style ruining through her veins, oozing self-confidence and embracing the right to express herself, Iris led the most colourful life and had the most wonderful of wardrobes.
The quirky lady with the over-sized glasses had an eye for colours and patterns and is a brilliant example of having the courage and confidence to express yourself and to be brave and bold. In Iris’ case, it was to be brave and bold enough to wear whatever made her happy. This message about being true to yourself is a universal message that all readers can embrace and extends far beyond the world of fashion. Children need to know that it is OK to be different from the crowd and Iris is a brilliant role model for this.
The story is told in short and simple sentences and is delightfully illustrated with vibrant and colourful artwork that is as bright and as bold as the lady herself - I think she would rather like the way that her life has been represented. At the back of the the book there is a short overview of her life which includes key facts and dates and a historical timeline featuring photographs.
A fabulous short biography about one of the lesser known names of the fashion world.
Recommended for 5+.
With thanks to Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara and Frances Lincoln Children’s Books for the advanced reader copy that was received through NetGalley.