Butterworth, Chris Where Did My Clothes Come From? Illustrated by Lucia Gaggiotti. 29 pgs. NONFICTION Candlewick Press, 2015. $12.99.
As the title predicts, this book teaches children about the origins of a variety of fabrics: cotton, wool, silk, polyester, fleece, and rubber. Each section is headed with a question about a particular piece of clothing. The first one is "What Are Your Jeans Made of?" followed by what are your sweater, party dress, soccer uniform, fleece jacket, and boots made of. At the end are some tips about how to recycle clothes. Included are a short bibliography and index.
I don't always like illustrated nonfiction books. I usually feel that photos add credibility to a text in a way illustrations can't. Besides, kids usually like photos with their nonfiction, too. However, I found this one to be an exception. It is especially well drawn in a style that is both inviting and informative. With its rounded corners and non-primary colors, the illustrations look somewhat retro while being warm - friendly even - and showing an amazing amount of details. Complementing the text are both multicultural workers and models as well as the important steps in each production cycle. These absolutely delightful illustrations lend an air of discovery and intimacy that photos would have turned generic or impersonal. The simple informational text is concise yet also covers a surprisingly satisfying amount of details for each fabric.
EL - ADVISABLE. Reviewed by P.K.Foster, teacher- librarian