Dress-Up Day / Día de disfraces

h1 March 24th, 2022 by jules

“There was going to be a big costume party at school.”
(Click spread to enlarge)


I loooooove to see the books of author-illustrator Blanca Gómez, who lives in Spain, and she has a new picture book on shelves now from Abrams. It is being released in both a Spanish (Día de disfraces) and English version (Dress-Up Day), and because I couldn’t pick which to share today, I’ve got spreads in both Spanish and English. Dedicated to “all those who know the feeling,” this is a story about a moment of deep insecurity that turns into one of triumph.

“There was going to be a costume party at school.” See the spread above! Look at that line of children, staring at the school’s (delightful) announcement about such. Our protagonist’s mother makes the girl a “fantastic rabbit costume,” and she can’t wait to show it off the next day at school — but misses school that day, because she wakes up sick. When her mother suggests she go as a rabbit the next day, off she hops to school with the handmade costume, bunny ears and all. She’s greeted by stares, pointing, and laughing in the school yard, however, and she thinks: “Maybe it was not such a great idea after all.” But Hugo! He had also missed yesterday and shows up as a carrot. “Really!” Best of all, Hugo runs to the narrator, his carrot arms outstretched, and says: “Be sad no more, little rabbit — your carrot is here!”

Expect squeals of delight from the preschoolers with whom you share this one. (I mean, Hugo. That kid’s got class.) Oh, and the surprise ending is immensely satisfying too.

This is a story that gets how young children think and feel — their boldness, their vulnerabilities, their unfettered joy in donning a costume and becoming someone (or something) else, their willingness to be 110% their own individual selves (even if there are bumps in the road along the way). If you are familiar with Gómez’s books (see here and here at 7-Imp), you know that she tells her stories in sure, unfussy lines and shapes, simple but remarkably expressive facial expressions (three dots and a line on the characters’ faces for eyes, nose, and a mouth) and body language, crisp colors, and a truly inclusive cast of characters.

Here are some spreads from this one in, again, both Spanish and English. …



“Mamá me hizo un disfraz de conejita fantástico.
Y yo la ayudé. Estaba deseando enseñárselo a todos.”

(Two images above: Click either image to enlarge and see spread in its entirety)



“The next morning, I was feeling better, but I was really sad I’d missed the party.
Then mom had a great idea. ‘Why not go to school as a rabbit
A great idea, indeed! I got ready in a hurry. It was time to hop to school!”

(Two images above: Click either image to enlarge and see spread in its entirety)


“Hasta que …”
(Click spread to enlarge)


“When he saw me, he came running. ‘Be sad no more, little rabbit —
your carrot is here!'”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“Al instante, estábamos los dos brincando por todo el patio. …”
(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)




* * * * * * *

DRESS-UP DAY / DÍA DE DISFRACES. Text and illustrations © 2022 Blanca Gómez. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Abrams Books for Young Readers, New York.

One comment to “Dress-Up Day / Día de disfraces

  1. Wonderful.

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