Review! Why’d They Wear That? by Sarah Albee

whyWhy’d They Wear That?: Fashion as the Mirror of History

Written by Sarah Albee

Foreword by Tim Gunn

192 pages – ages 10+

Published by National Geographic Children’s Books on February 10, 2015

Synopsis- Have you ever wondered why the Greeks and Romans draped cloaks over themselves? Why we have “Royal Purple”? How ladies walked in gigantic hoop skirts? Well, this book tells the answers to these questions, and many more. They make you wonder, laugh, and feel sorry for the wearers (did they KNOW they were poisoning themselves???). Plunge into the history of fashion!

What I Thought- This is a really cool nonfiction book. It goes through a history of the known world, and teaches about how they made clothes or why they did them like that. I like how this book teaches kids more than they would think about a time period. The book is written in paragraphs, with little fact boxes, captions, and real photos/paintings/art. It makes it all visually interesting. The paragraphs are in columns, like a newspaper, but dotted with pictures and mini fact boxes. The book mostly focuses on the rich of the time, mostly because they were the ones with the most outrageous fashions. It explains that in Renaissance times, women would eat arsenic wafers to get that shade of deathly pale just right. Ms. Albee has written a wonderful nonfiction book that will get kids thinking about history from a different point of view. This was a really cool book that makes you really wonder about the history (and future) of the world!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Categories: Age 9+

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14 replies

  1. I met Sarah at last year’s SCBWI Conference. She’s a great person and a fantastic nonfiction writer.

  2. This is a great idea!

  3. Matthew would love that. He’s always watching YouTube videos with strange facts on.

  4. What a great way to introduce history! Most kids would just love this books (and some of us adults too)

  5. Is there a chapter about doggie sundresses? I’m curious. WHY do I wear them????

    Love and licks,

  6. Love good books like this! Super important reference material for illustrators, and budding illustrators.

  7. Wow, I am a big Nat geo fan but didn’t know they produced books quite like this.

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