I have partnered with The Children’s Book Review and Jeanne Walker Harvey to bring you a special book review and giveaway of Jeanne’s latest book, Dressing Up the Stars: The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith Head.
Edith Head (1897-1981) won the Academy Awards for Best Costume Design eight times, making her the woman with the most costume design awards. She was also the designer with the most nominations.
Although she became a well-known and sought-after costume designer, she came from humble roots. Author Jeanne Walker Harvey tells the inspirational story of how a shy and lonesome girl from a rural desert town rose to the top of Hollywood through grit and determination.
She did not have formal training in her field, but she persisted and consistently followed her passion. This picture book captures the importance of determination – even when others don’t believe in you.
We are not instantly going to get where we want in life, but Edith’s story shows that big things can happen when we keep working toward our dream. Even in the waiting, we have the chance to hone our skills. This story shows us that we can choose to make the best of our situation, even when it’s less than ideal. We can look for ways to grow and chase the dream in our hearts, or we can have a defeating mentality that we can’t do anything about our situation. That outlook on life can significantly impact our trajectory.
The road to fulfilling our dreams can be a bumpy journey, with many stops and detours. But each time we are faced with opposition, we have the opportunity to learn, grow, and forge on with determination.
This book can inspire and encourage children (and adults) of all ages. Even if you are not into fashion, this is a beautiful book about becoming all you’re meant to be. It is a touching story for anyone who has had a dream grow within their heart.
The author’s note at the end of the book provides more information about Edith Head’s career and features a couple of photos of her working.
Written by Jeanne Walker Harvey
Illustrated by Diana Toledano
Ages 3-8 | 40 Pages
Publisher: Beach Lane Books | ISBN-13: 9781534451056
About the Book: Discover the true story of how a shy miner’s daughter became one of the most legendary costume designers in Hollywood in this inspiring nonfiction picture book biography.
As a child in the small mining town of Searchlight, Nevada, Edith Head had few friends and spent most of her time dressing up her toys and pets and even wild animals using fabric scraps. She always knew she wanted to move somewhere full of people and excitement. She set her sights on Hollywood and talked her way into a job sketching costumes for a movie studio.
Did she know how to draw or sew costumes? No. But that didn’t stop her!
Edith taught herself and tirelessly worked her way up until she was dressing some of the biggest stars of the day, from Audrey Hepburn to Grace Kelly to Ginger Rogers. She became the first woman to head a major Hollywood movie studio costume department and went on to win eight Academy Awards for best costume design—and she defined the style of an era.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeanne Walker Harvey studied literature and psychology at Stanford University and has worn many job hats, ranging from being a roller coaster ride operator to an attorney, a middle school language arts teacher, and a long-time docent for school groups 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, and Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines. Jeanne lives in Northern California.
Visit her online at www.jeanneharvey.com.
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR
Diana Toledano is an illustrator, writer, and educator. She is also a Pisces who loves children’s books, patterns, and dancing her heart out. Originally from Spain, Diana (pronounced the Spanish way: dee-ah-na) grew up in Madrid where she studied art history and illustration. Now she lives in San Francisco with her husband and two fluffy cats. Her mixed media art seeks to capture the magic of the ordinary. Diana’s product designs, picture books, board books, and chapter books have been published and sold all over the world. Diana also teaches workshops for kids and adults. She enjoys doing school visits and speaking at conferences.
Learn more at Diana-Toledano.com.
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A set of five copies of Dressing Up the Stars: The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith Head