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Reviewed by Dolores Stedman for Readers' Favorite
Not a Purse by Stephanie Dreyer is an informative book for children, parents, and teachers. In a rhythmic way, the author shows how animals have characteristics like humans. For example, foxes like to play, pigs are good swimmers and crocodiles cry. The author presents many interesting facts about 13 different animals. The illustrator, Jack Veda, uses soft warm colors for his simple drawings of the animals. His fun illustrations connect the animals with things often made from their skins, feathers or fur. For example, a cow is shown with a purse and a whale has a perfume bottle in her mouth. The book has a Fun Facts section and a section that focuses on alternative things we can use that do not come from animals. Stephanie Dreyer’s strong message is that animals are often used as clothing, in our homes, and as beauty products, but do not have to be. Instead of buying purses made from leather and suede, we can buy faux versions of these materials. Instead of wool clothing, we can buy synthetic fabrics.
Both children and parents will enjoy and learn many little-known facts from Not a Purse. Teachers will also find it an informative book to read to their classes. Children naturally love animals, so they will adore how 13 animals in the book are personified as they sit in chairs, play and dance. Alligators wearing boots and a goat wearing a scarf help to make the point for children that animals are often used for clothing. Adults will find the facts in the book informative and interesting. The way the author introduces many facts helps to make the concept and message clear; animals do not have to be used for clothing, beauty products and in homes. There are alternatives. Some answers are found in the “What else can we buy?” pages at the end of the book. Using unique trivia and cute illustrations, Not a Purse informs and inspires adults and children to always look for these alternatives.