Charis and I are fans of Usborne books and were delighted to be sent this lovely Edwardian Fashion sticker dolly dressing book to review.
The book briefly describes the Edwardian era in Europe and there are several dolls, with gorgeous names such as Cecily and Pearl, to dress up using the 160 stickers provided. We removed the sticker section from the centre of the book and couldn't wait to clothe Henry and Cordelia at their boat race outing, Aunt Esther and family at the British seaside, Marie and Viola at Poiret's party plus many other scenarios typical of the era for the elegant, well-to-do set.
Charis found the reusable stickers easy to peel and place on the dolls and she learned a lot about the costume of the era as she played away. It's easy to know where to place the stickers as each comes with a little instruction. Charis was curious about the various fashions beautifully illustrated in the book and, having studied costume and fashion history at university, I enjoyed answering her questions, such as 'mum, what's an empire line?', 'did they really use actual bone to make fancy hair combs?', 'what are plus-fours?', 'why are they wearing tights on the beach!'
|More elegant outfits with easy to follow instructions|
|Easy to position, reusable stickers|
It's interesting to see the numerous styles of clothing prevalent during the Belle Epoque: tweed sportswear for golfing and motoring, wide-brimmed ladies' hats, the classic striped blazer and straw boater, exotic oriental inspired fashion by designer Paul Poiret, Art Nouveau inspired clothing, outfits for ballroom dancing, a day at the races and so on. The book also explains how the First World War brought changes to fashion.
The colourful illustrations perfectly capture the elegant style of the period and make it interesting and accessible to children. 8 year old Charis can sometimes close her mind to historical subjects, no matter how interesting, brushing them off with an 'ugh, mum, it's old fashioned!' comment. But not so the content of this lovely activity book. Incorporating a hands-on approach using stickers and a section to decorate your own clothes is a great way to invite children to learn whilst they play.
|Charis at work dressing the dolls|
|Marie wearing an oriental themed outfit|
|Charis's Littlest Pets joined in the fun|
Charis enjoyed painstakingly dressing the dolls and afterwards told me what she had learned about the fashion of the era.
She loved that each doll has a name and her favourite was Hattie because she looks like a female Harry Potter:
|Meet Hattie Potter!|
We now want to look out for more Usborne sticker dolly dressing books. The 1930s and '40s especially - my favourite fashion eras.