The Dress and the Girl is a touching picture book from Camille Andros and Julie Morstad, delicately told with feeling and emotion.
“Back when time seemed slower
and life simpler, there was a dress.
A dress much like many others,
made for a girl by her mother.”
…and so Andros’s narrative begins. The girl and her dress are a perfect fit, they spend their days travelling to school, picking daffodils and staring at the stars – yet they both yearn for “something singular, stunning, or sensational.”
Morstad captures the beautiful blue and white houses of the Greek island wonderfully, yet things are changing for the girl and her family. The illustrations convey the huge boat trip they go on, and her arrival in America signaled by the Statue of Liberty.
But the girl and the dress get separated.
The illustrations convey much of the story here as we see the dress set off on a separate journey spanning years. The girl grows up, has her own family and becomes reunited with her dress in the most serendipitous moment. In a final spread, which echoes the very first, she hands on the dress to her own daughter… and so the journey continues.
Andros’s slow, calm text allow the reader to absorb the details in Morstad’s artwork. The Dress and the Girl is a book about memories, celebrating and respecting the journey of immigrants. Simply beautiful.