Morris is a little boy who loves using his imagination. But most of all, Morris loves his classroom’s dress-up center and its tangerine dress.
Morris is a little boy who loves using his imagination. He dreams about having space adventures, paints beautiful pictures and sings the loudest during circle time. But most of all, Morris loves his classroom’s dress-up center — he loves wearing the tangerine dress.
But the children in Morris’s class don’t understand. Dresses, they say, are for girls. And Morris certainly isn’t welcome in the spaceship some of his classmates are building. Astronauts, they say, don’t wear dresses.
One day when Morris feels all alone, and sick from the taunts of his classmates, his mother lets him stay home from school. Morris reads about elephants, and puts together a puzzle, and dreams of a fantastic space adventure with his cat, Moo.
Inspired by his dream, Morris paints the incredible scene he saw, and brings it with him to school. He builds his own spaceship, hangs his painting on the front of it and takes two of his classmates on an outer space adventure.
With warm, dreamy illustrations Isabelle Malenfant perfectly captures Morris’s vulnerability and the vibrancy of his imagination. This is a sweetly told story about the courage and creativity it takes to be different.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.
First-time author Christine Baldacchino debunks all the shoulds and shouldn’ts of children’s behavior merely based on the number of x-chromosomes. . . . Veteran illustrator Isabelle Malenfant imbues young Morris with such expressiveness, from his curious joy to hurt silence to cruel rejection to hopeful triumph.
Unlike some more messagey titles on the subject, this one provides Morris with a personality beyond his dress-loving nature, making him enjoyable literary company.
Christine Baldacchino's story and Isabelle Malenfant's delightful illustrations show how being different is sometimes the bravest thing you can be.
[R]ather than presenting an overt message about gender identity, the book provides a subtle and refreshing glimpse at a boy who simply likes to dress up.
Baldacchino doesn’t sugar-coat the teasing and isolation Morris endures. . . . Malenfant showcases Morris’s full emotional spectrum.
Morris is a complex character whose creativity and personality shine. . . . Sensitive and reassuring.
[A] wonderfully moving and enriching picture book. Morris is a relateable character whom many readers will find both sympathetic and familiar.
Baldacchino’s gentle story sensitively depicts gender nonconforming children, offering them reassurance and, one hopes, acceptance by introducing other children to the concept.