by Judy Newman with Alexie Basil
This week is Fashion Week in New York City. And while at this time of year I am most comfortable in jeans and a sweater (i.e., not fashionably dressed), it is fun to see models and fashion industry professionals walking, strutting, sashaying, or balancing on high heels around town in amazing outfits.
Even though the huge Escalade limousines of Fashion Week partygoers will ensnare traffic and make me late to a meeting or lunch with an author in an infuriating way, it is fun to see the parties and events spilling out onto the sidewalk of fashion boutiques in SoHo, where our Scholastic offices are located.
While I don’t participate in Fashion Week as more than a passerby, as a word person, I do find this time to be a fun opportunity to experience the vernacular of another industry.
Since the fashion industry is built on the dynamic, interesting, and groundbreaking use of texture, color, design, and attention-getting style, it is fitting (pun definitely intended) that the language of fashion is colorful—and fun to boot (pun also intended).
Here are some of my favorite winter 2019 Fashion Week words:
• Pussy bow
In addition to vocabulary building, Fashion Week also inspires me to dig deep into my dresser and closet and pull out old clothes from my college days, since they seem to be exactly back in style now.
Fashion, according to Merriam-Webster, is defined as the prevailing style of dress during a particular time. It is about popularity and trends.
By contrast, classic children’s books often defy trends and stay in fashion decade after decade, gaining popularity and readers each season—such as this week’s Dollar Deal, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, and illustrated by Lois Ehlert. It’s a timeless, beloved, always-in-fashion classic cherished and enjoyed by readers of all ages.
“Children will revel in seeing the familiar alphabet transported into this madcap adventure.” —Publishers Weekly
Award-winning illustrator Lois Ehlert’s brilliant color and style rival the best fashion-house design as the lowercase letters of the alphabet climb up the coconut tree. When their weight is too much for the tree to take, they all come tumbling down. Fortunately, the capital letters are there to help!
Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault’s rollicking, rhyming text has driven millions of readers—generation after generation—to demand Chicka Chicka Boom Boom be read over and over again.
My friend and colleague David Vozar’s experience with his own children echoes millions of families’ bedtime routines:
“One of the great things about reading to my children at night was reading a book that made me feel like a rock star to them.
“The sounds of certain words that I could really have fun with when spoken out loud made it fun for both of us. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom was one of those books. It was so good that it got me wondering, ‘How would it feel to use it throughout my day?’”
In addition to its universal and timeless entertainment value, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is also noteworthy because it stars the letters of the alphabet, which, as all readers know, are the foundation of every word in everyone’s vocabulary.
That, of course, is the magic of the alphabet: that any word you can think of—from “activewear” to “Peter Pan collar” to “zipper pull”—is made up of the 26 letters of the alphabet.
In the spirit of something never going out of fashion, the blog team had fun really strutting our stuff creating the posts to support this week’s Dollar Deal! We check out the creators of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom in Behind the Scenes. The Book Boys share their favorite letters and a fun alphabet rap. We let kids unscramble the alphabet with a fun classroom activity in Cooked Up from a Book. And we learn how kindergarten teacher Mary McNutt uses Chicka Chicka Boom Boom in her classroom in Book Talks.
Happy reading, and I hope you and your students enjoy this week’s Dollar Deal!
This Book Is Available from Scholastic Book Clubs