Ages 4 to 7
Farrar, Straus and Giroux,1996, 0-374-42296-6
Fenwick is not a popular man. Indeed he is quite a boring and colorless sort of person and he wishes there was something that he could do to get the people in his office to notice him. Perhaps if he wore different clothes his colleagues would like him. One day, as he is walking home from work, he sees a fabulous suit in the window of a tailor’s shop. On a whim Fenwick buys the suit and suddenly his life changes. The suit seems to have a life of its own. When he wears it Fenwick struts and makes grandiose gestures; when he wears it he is a different man.
The day after he purchases the suit Fenwick wakes up far too sick to go to work. To his amazement he watches as his suit goes to work without him. Fenwick discovers that the suit, unlike him, is incredibly popular and makes friends easily. What a situation – to be upstaged by a piece of clothing. Fenwick decides that he is not going to stand for it and he sets about planning the suit’s removal from his life.
This delightful story will remind the fashion-conscious reader that clothes might seem to make a person different but the change is superficial; underneath the clothes they are still the same person they always were. With a strong element of slapstick and the fantastic, David Small weaves a delightful tale which has an interesting cautionary element to it – bear of fancy suits and borrowed plumes for you never know what they might do to your life.
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