'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 13 September 2010

Review: Different Like Coco

Oh my, this is a truly divine book. Even if you're not a Coco Chanel fan (which probably encompasses most 8-year-olds), you'll fall in love with this skinny little French orphan with a passion for fashion.

Although Coco was born poor, this dynamic young girl knew she was just as good as the hoity toity upper echelon around her. She cleverly learned social ettiquette from these women and ceaselessly worked to get to the top - and her lucky break came when an enamoured millionaire bought her a dream shop, right on la rue Cambon in Paris.

But what Coco never compromised was her unique style and her defiant penchant to be different - to stand out from the rest. 

While women continued to bustle around in crinolines, corsets and great feathered hats, Coco designed and wore comfortable, chic, sleek, pared-down looks that became her trademark - such as the incredibly well-received cardigan jacket. Through Coco Chanel, the modern sportswoman was born.

This gorgeous biographical book is written expressly for youngsters yet doesn't dumb things down in the text department. Using a simple storyline that is readily relatable to young girls, the author doesn't downplay wordage, instead writing with a relaxed sophistication that will delight older readers and educate the younger ones.

The illustrations are truly magnificent - ink drawings coloured with stunning watercolour washes, plenty of snooty faces and exemplary fashion from the 1920s and beyond. Just glorious. Fashion lovers of all ages, get set to drool.

Title: Different Like Coco
Elizabeth Matthews
Publisher: Candlewick Press, $27.95 RRP
Publication Date: January 2007
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket
ISBN: 9780763625481
For ages: 5 - 10
Type: Picture book