The Spectacular Suit by Kat Patrick and Hayley Wells Review and Activity Ideas
The Spectacular Suit by Kat Patrick and Hayley Wells is published by Scribble Kids (thank you for sending a copy for review). It was the cover that really drew me to this book and made me want to read.
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You must check out the trailer for The Spectacular Suit below which is just as incredible as the book. The trailer gives you an understanding behind the conception and passion behind the book.
It’s a book firmly rooted in identity and being who you feel comfortable being. I think you can read this book and get a feel for the inner meaning. Although, watching the trailer gives you a deeper context in this own voices wonder written by Kat.
Here’s a little insight from the publisher:
A buoyant and heartwarming celebration of individuality, identity, and dressing to suit yourself!
It’s almost Frankie’s birthday and everything is ready — except for something to wear. All of her party dresses feel wrong. Her family tries to help, but it’s no good.
What Frankie longs for is a suit. A spectacular suit …
Can Frankie find the outfit of her dreams?
I have a thing for endpapers and the endpapers are such fun and make you want to get creative with all the sewing accessories. This is one of those books where the front and back endpapers don’t match. Are endpapers something you notice? It’s one of the first things I notice in a book.
The Spectacular Suit Synopsis
There’s a party. Frankie’s party. All the arrangements are made and the preparation is well underway. The whole family is getting involved to make it a very special day.
Frankie’s Mum has a range of dresses for Frankie to choose from but nothing feels quite right. It saddens her that she can’t find quite the right thing. However, she has an idea of what she really wants, but is it just a dream?
Frankie designs her own Spectacular Suit and while she sleeps Mum gets busy creating a masterpiece.
The Spectacular Suit Thoughts
I love the support from the family coming together to make one day awesome for Frankie. Yet, the deeper message is the love and acceptance that will flourish from that day forward. The knowledge for Frankie that she is free to be who she is and that her family are their to help. I hope this is a message that every child reading this book will be able to take away. The actions of the family are important for us adults to read too! Also, as one of those mom’s who’s been up at all hours making a costume that will make my daughter feel spectacular it very much resonated!
I particularly liked the pages in the book that take us through Frankie’s interaction with her family members. You get the speech from the family member yet Frankie’s emotions are not spelt out. This is where the illustrations by Hayley bring in another layer of depth to the story. Although the features on the face are actually very simple there is an incredible depth to them and you are left taking on the feelings of Frankie in that moment. As time passes, with each conversation, you feel the compounded weight of Frankie’s thoughts weighing down on her.
The Spectacular Suit Illustrations
As I mentioned at the start of this post, it was the front cover that made me want to read this book – it’s SPECTACULAR! I very much enjoyed the palette used by Hayley and they aren’t colours that I would normally be drawn to. They work in such a juxtaposing, complementary contrast.
As you will have noticed from the images you have already seen the colour palette extends throughout the book. It’s a rich, vibrant theme that truly brings the book to life.
The Spectacular Suit Review
The Spectacular Suit is a highly recommend for me. It’s an incredible own voices piece of work from Kat Patrick that Hayley Wells has brought even more sparkle to. A must read and absolutely needs a home in all schools and libraries.
Ideas to Explore the Book Further
There are so many ways to further explore this wonderful book. Here are a few you could try:
- Choose just four coloured pencils and draw a picture just using those four colours. Explore the different effects you can make by holding the pencil in different ways and pressing more lightly or firmly.
- Have a party! My daughter Floss loves it when we do ‘tea parties’ this can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. Floss will write invitations (a great writing for purpose opportunity). Frankie’s big sister writes the invitations for the party and there is a lovely full page image of one of her invitations. It could be a pretend tea party with teddies.
- Prepare for a meal together or bake a cake like in the book. Lots of recipe reading opportunities in this and using maths with weighing and measuring.
- Discuss a time when you’ve ever had to wear something that didn’t make you feel happy or comfortable. Good for adults and children to all share their experiences. How did you feel? What would you have preferred to wear instead?
- Design your own Spectacular Suit that is unique to you. What would it be made from, what colours would it be?
- Take on a simple sewing project. You could make a Spectacular Suit for a toy. It doesn’t need to be sewn – sticky tape or velcro are great if a needle and thread is not for you.
Identity Book Recommendations
My Shadow is Pink by Scott Stuart and published by Larrikin House is another book I’d highly recommend on identity and giving positive messages to our young people. Check out all the reviews for this one here.
Bookworm Buzz – Book News
If you’d love to keep up to date on children’s book news then head to my updates here. Weekly posts will resume August 2023 for now check out Reading Rambles. It’s perfect for all book lovers including parents, teachers and librarians. You can find lots including –
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