Our newest Read-Aloud Poster is for The Hundred Dresses, written by Eleanor Estes and illustrated by Louis Slobodkin. This classic was originally published in 1944 and won a Newbery Honor medal. Although it has been around a while, its timeless themes of friendship, kindness, and forgiveness make it a compelling read even today. Publisher age estimates of grades 1-4 and its short length (just 7 chapters, less than 100 pages) may make you think it’s a book for your little ones, we test read it with kids up to 12 years old, and every one of them was engaged in the story.
Reader Signatures and Ratings
We start and end every poster with our Reader Signature block. Start here by having everyone sign their name (yes, you too!) as a co-book reader and poster-completer; come back at the end to give your star rating and talk about what you liked (and didn’t like) about the book. Book evaluation discussions are great opportunities to give evidence to support your opinions, as well as practice being kind and respectful to other readers whose opinions might differ from yours. Bonus for grown-ups: listen for clues to help you be an even better book-matchmaker for your kids!
Use the picture frames to draw portraits of Wanda, Maddie, and Peggy, and use the spaces underneath the frames to write about each girl’s character traits.
Listen for time clues in the story to construct a timeline of important events. Use words, pictures, or a combination of both to show main events! Hint for grown-ups: The book actually has a bit of a flashback structure, so you might want to provide a bit of guidance to make sure that this is reflected in the timeline.
Coloring and Designing Dresses
It wouldn’t be a Read-Aloud Poster if we didn’t give you some fun coloring opportunities! Have fun coloring some forties-style dresses, then put on your creative hats and draw your own!
Here’s a space to collect some of the wonderful words the author uses. Askew? Precarious? Incredulous? Which ones are new to you? Write them down, and then use context clues or a dictionary to find out what they mean.
There are some pretty big ideas in this book! One of the best things about reading together is being able to talk about the book. Look for a few discussion starters in the smoke from the houses on Boggins Heights, or talk about other ideas that are important to you.
Letter to Wanda
When we finished the book, we thought Maddie still had thoughts and feelings she’d like to share with Wanda. If you feel the same, use this space to write a letter to Wanda from Maddie. Grown-ups: If you’re reading with younger kids, feel free to let them dictate all or part of the letter to you.
What's your favorite part of our Read-Aloud Poster for The Hundred Dresses? We'd love to hear from you!