Monday, November 12, 2012

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes ~ Review & Lapbook

A few weeks ago I received an email from a blog I subscribe to, Homeschool Share. Inside was a lapbook they had just completed about a book they had read, The Hundred Dresses. I skimmed through the email as we waited our turn at the doctors office. On our way home we stopped at the library to pick the book up so we could see what it was really about. Although, The Hundred Dresses was written about 70 years ago I had never heard of the book.

The Hundred Dresses is about a little Polish-American girl named Wanda Petronski. Her father is doing the best he can to raise her but they are poor and Wanda only has one dress. Each evening she washes and irons her own dress as she has no mother.

It all started as a simple inquiry that quickly turned into a game. And while it seemed innocent enough we must always remember how hurtful our words can be to others. Peggy is the popular girl in school and her best friend is Maddie. Maddie's family is not as well to do as Peggy's. In fact Maddie's dresses are actually Peggy's old dresses that her mother had altered to make them look a little different. Everyday Maddie & Peggy wait for Wanda so they can ask her a series of questions about how many dresses she has and why she only wears one. As time passes Maddie realizes how hurtful their inquires are. She thinks of ways to approach the subject with Peggy but quickly decides not to say anything to her, in fear that she will be Peg's new target.

The class has a contest in which the boys are to draw pictures of motorboats and the girls are to draw pictures of dresses. Maddie and Peg are sure that Peg will win. She is a decent drawer and is the most popular. When the pictures are displayed in the class everyone is an awe. There are literally hundreds of pictures of dresses. The teacher, Miss. Mason announces the winners, but before doing so receives a letter from the front office. Miss. Mason reads the letter to the class announcing that Wanda will no longer be returning to school. In the letter Wanda's father states that he is upset over the hurtful behavior of the other students towards his daughter. As Miss. Mason announces that Wanda is the winner for the girls Maddie is upset that she was never able to apologize to Wanda for her behavior. After school Maddie & Peg head to Wanda's house, hoping she has not already left so they can reveal the winner. But are they to late? Has Wanda already moved? Will they ever be able to tell Wanda that they are sorry they were so mean to her and hurt her feelings?

Visit Homeschool Share for this wonderful lapbook and printable. 

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