Maddie Wants New Clothes


64 pages
ISBN 0-88780-526-4
DDC jC843'.54





Illustrations by Marie-Louise Gay
Reviewed by Deborah Dowson

Deborah Dowson is a Canadian children’s librarian in North Wales,


Poor Maddie doesn’t have a thing to wear. Her clothes are either
outdated or seriously outgrown and she is desperate for some new ones.
When her father dresses her in too-tight striped tights and a too-short
flowered shirt to go to school, she feels ridiculous. Her friends tease
her good-naturedly and then offer a few ideas to help her out of her
fashion misery. Maddie tries to shrink her clothes so her family will be
forced to buy new ones, but only succeeds in blowing up the washing
machine. Another strategy is to lose weight so the clothes don’t fit.
In the end Maddie realizes that it is fun to be fashionable and trendy,
but there are limits to the lengths one should go to conform to the
popular ideal.

Maddie experiences life at full volume, with intense passion and high
emotion that sometimes blinds her to the most prudent course of action,
but always provides the reader with a lively and entertaining story. The
author creates a deceptively simple story about the everyday situation
of not being able to find something to wear, and cleverly infuses it
with lots of action, humor, and thought-provoking questions of
self-image. This attractive, delightfully illustrated, amusing, and
easy-to-read large-print chapter book will appeal to beginning readers.


Leblanc, Louise., “Maddie Wants New Clothes,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 15, 2024,