Ella Sarah Gets Dressed Book Poster Image

Ella Sarah Gets Dressed



Typical preschool struggle beautifully illustrated.

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a beautifully illustrated story about a preschooler's move toward greater autonomy during the "I want to do it myself!" stage.

Kids say

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What's the story?

Ella Sarah knows exactly what she wants to wear: pink polka-dot pants, a dress with orange and green flowers, purple and blue striped socks, yellow shoes, and a red hat. Her family tries to persuade her to wear a more conventional outfit, but she absolutely refuses to wear anything that they suggest. Ella Sarah has a clear idea of how she wants to look and she is determined to have her own way. Later, her young friends arrive for a tea party and all are attired just as zanily as Ella Sarah. She is happily vindicated.

Is it any good?


Simply and delightfully told, the story will resonate with preschoolers and their families. Every parent and older sibling will recognize Ella Sarah's struggle between dependence and independence, and applaud her family's decision to give Ella Sarah a little growing room.

Bold pastel colors in attractive patterns are applied in a variety of printmaking techniques to create a sunny background for Ella Sarah's dressing drama. This is a typical preschool situation illustrated in an unusual and beautifully original style.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why it's so important to Ella Sarah to be able to dress herself. What does she gain from being able to choose her clothes and put them on without any help?

Book details

Author:Margaret Chodos-Irvine
Illustrator:Margaret Chodos-Irvine
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Harcourt Brace
Publication date:February 1, 2004
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):2 - 5
Award:Caldecott Medal and Honors

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 1 and 3 year old Written bySonoraSchmidt July 30, 2009
Simple, good message.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written byJamie and James March 14, 2010

Perfect for kids who are going through a I THINK I CAN! stage. Most likely they'll carry this around for support.

I bought this for my daughter on her first day of PreK, for her to get that I CAN DO IT! feeling. Now she is in K and she reads it every morning now when she gets dressed.
What other families should know
Great messages


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