Monday, 13 November 2017

Review: 'Rooster Wore Skinny Jeans' by Jessie Miller and Barbara Bakos

This morning I woke up to news that the Archbishop of Canterbury has called on schools and nurseries to allow children to dress up how they choose, regardless of gender stereotypes. I'm really happy about this, and may write more about it later in the week. But it also reminded me of a picture book I had waiting to review.



When we received a copy of 'Pirates in Classroom 3' from Maverick Books, they also sent a copy of 'Rooster Wore Skinny Jeans'. Written by Jessie Miller and illustrated by Barbara Bakos, it is the story of a fashion-conscious rooster with a penchant for online shopping. When his new pair of skinny jeans arrives early, he can't wait to show them off to the other animals on the farm.



The other animals, however, are unimpressed and make fun of poor rooster. He hides away until he decides that he doesn't need their approval, he's happy wearing his new jeans and being himself.


I really love the message of this story. It champions the individual and encourages children to dress for themselves and find happiness within rather than looking to other people's opinions for validation. It's also a good reminder not to judge others and to accept, and even applaud, other people's differences - as the other farm animals eventually do.

It's also fantastic to read a story featuring a male character who loves fashion. While skinny jeans aren't necessarily 'girly' they are framed as a clear style choice, and the way the rooster admires them is out of the ordinary for the depiction of boys and men in books. He admires the colours and sparkly stitching, and proclaims, "my bum looks fantastic!" And at the end of the book he purchases a much more flamboyant item - I won't spoil the ending for you though! It's great to have a book celebrating a male character who steps outside the box and loves all things sartorial.

In terms of readability, the text is great - it's written in rhyming couplets which always goes down well with children. I like how there are a few little jokes in there about online shopping that no doubt will go over the kids' heads but will make the adult reader smile!

The illustrations are very bright, bold and cheerful. I particularly liked the little chicks that popped up throughout the book, adding another level of detail to spot as the book becomes more familiar. The farmyard setting is always a winner with children - I've mentioned before that Ezra loves animal-themed books and this one is no exception. He really enjoyed pointing out all the different animals and making their noises - and was very excited by the 'cock-a-doodle-doo' which he loves to emulate!

I really recommend this book. It would be great for a little boy with a sense of style, to affirm that that's OK and it's good to enjoy the clothes you wear. But really it's a story for everyone - a lesson in acceptance and in daring to be different. I don't think there's anyone who wouldn't benefit from that message!

DISCLAIMER: I was provided with a copy of the book for the purposes of this review, but all words and opinions are my own.

Linking up with #ReadWithMe hosted by Mama Mummy Mum.

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10 comments:

  1. This is the second review I've read of this book. Sounds a fab fun read #readwithme

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    1. Glad to hear the word's getting out about it!

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  2. Aaaa I've seen this around but haven't read it yet, looks highly entertaining! Thank you for sharing with #readwithme

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    1. It's a really nice book, thanks as ever for hosting! #readwithme

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  3. We absolutely love this story. It makes us laugh as it conveys such an important message. We also laughed when we saw the next item in Rooster's shopping basket!

    #ReadWithMe

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it too, it's great isn't it? I wonder they'll do a follow-up showing Rooster's future purchases?!

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  4. I've seen someone else review this too and it looks fab! I love the illustrations. Definitely one for my niece and nephew.

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    1. Good to know word is getting out about it! Might be a good Christmas pressie for your niece and nephew.

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  5. I love the sound of this book, what a great message! This would be perfect for my boys as I try to encourage them to choose clothes they like, not what is labelled for them, so great to see it reinforced in a picture book. #readwithme

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    1. Yes it seems quite rare to find picturebooks showing male characters going against stereotypes so I really liked this one.

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