Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Today I visited the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, so that I could see their new exhibit, "Maurice Sendak: 50 Year, 50 Works, 50 Reasons".  It's the first stop for this touring exhibition that posthumously celebrates Sendak and the 50th Anniversary of his picture book, Where The Wild Things Are.  But more on that in a later post...

This post is about another exhibit at the Bowers: "CUT! Costume and the Cinema".  I was lucky enough to make it to see this exhibition before it leaves.  (March 10, 2013 is the last day - so hurry if you live in Orange County.)

All the costumes were GOR-GEOUS, but I was most excited to see the gowns designed for films based on some of my favorite classic literature.  Take a look (and don't miss the children's book at the end of this post)...

Kate Winslet wore this dressing gown in Finding Neverland,
a movie based on the life of J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan.
Here's a view of the back (and you can barely see the
exhibit hall we just came from with the Maurice Sendak art!)
The lovely taupe colored gown in the middle with all the ruching is from
Miss Potter, a film about Beatrix Potter, starring Renee Zellweger.
Left: hat and gown worn by Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood,
in the film based on Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility (1995).
Center: hat and gown worn by Sarah Pickering as Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit (1988)
 Right: The wedding gown and veiled hat worn by Charlotte Gainsbourg
 in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Erye (1996)
Look at these quaint "underpinnings".
See more costumes that were on exhibit, HERE.

We ended our day at the Museum Gift Shop, full of great books...history and art books, picture books, pop-up books, and sticker books...

Children's section of the giftshop.

Here's a fun sticker book about costumes I found on the bookshelves.  It's from Usborne, a publishing company that specializes in non-fiction books that are fun and fact-filled.  This book, Clothes & Fashion Sticker Book, would be sure to delight any child who is interested in costumes, design, or paper dolls (for ages 5 and up).

Illustrated with photographs of clothes and accessories, this fun book includes paintings as well as photos and illustrations to bring the fashions of the past to life. It features lively text and fascinating facts that look at fashions through the ages from ancient times right up to the modern age. It offers over 100 stickers.

Well, I hope you liked my little tour.  And check back soon for my post about the Maurice Sendak exhibit at the Bowers (it will be there until April 28, 2013).


  1. Ooh, I'm jealous! I've always been fascinated by historical costume. Before American movies got as authentic as they are now (the Brits always got it right), I could hardly watch a historical film without criticizing their authenticity. Any idea where the exhibit is going next?

    1. Unfortunately, I don't know the tour schedule - but I failed to mention that the costumes were all from World-renowned BRITISH! - of course - costumer Cosprop Ltd. - "which earned its first Academy Award for Costume Design in 1986 in A Room With A View. Since then, the costumier has been nominated more than a dozen times. In 2007 three of the five Oscar nominees came from the Cosprop shop, only to be topped by winning the following year for The Duchess." :)

  2. That sounds incredible! I would love that... too bad we're on the other side of the country :)