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Monday, December 14, 2009

READ THIS: Different like Coco by Elizabeth Matthews

At Whom You Know, we believe in being the best we can be and helping you be the best you can be, and part of that is being ambitious, part of that is being smart, part of that is being tenacious, part of that is minding details, and part of that is being DIFFERENT.  We believe different is good as many that pursue excellence do it in a way that differentiates themselves from the norm in a positive manner, so this book is preaching to the choir!

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was always different. And she vowed to prove that being different was an advantage! Poor, skinny, and orphaned, Coco stubbornly believed that she was as good as the wealthier girls of Paris. Tapping into her creativity and her sewing skills, she began making clothes that suited her (and her pocketbook) — and soon a new generation of independent working women craved her sleek, comfortable, and practical designs. Now an icon of fashion and culture, Coco Chanel continues to inspire young readers, showing just how far a person can come with spunk, determination, and flair. Peachy Deegan just LOVED this book and would have loved Coco too. We wish she was here today so we could feature her as a Mover and Shaker! Peachy likes this for people of all ages, although it is a children's book.

Here is what our Petite Peachy Panel thought:

“Different Like COCO” is an inspiring children’s storybook which highlights the life of the great COCO Chanel. Author Elizabeth Matthews, tells the tale of a young French girl Gabrielle "COCO" Chanel  who struggles as a young orphan girl at the height of Parisian wealth and glamour. COCO rises above her misfortune and poor background not allowing herself to live the life as a charity case.  With obvious sewing and designing talent, COCO takes the fashion world by storm creating unique and distinctive looks. She shattered women’s and social stereotypes and with her style and boldness.  The subject matter of this book is a bit mature and I would recommend it for girls 10 and older. But great life lessons of independence and daring to dream big can be learned from “Different Like COCO.” Perfect for the aspiring fashionista!

Different Like Coco, the story of Coco Chanel, is a delightful book for young girls.  Hers is an uplifting story, one in which a person's differences prove to be her greatest strengths.  Coco's is a story of rags to riches, a story that I myself had never heard until reading the book with my daughter.  And while my child is still too young to grasp the meaning behind the words, she certainly enjoyed the pictures and all of my ad-libbing when we got to parts of the story that would have been completely lost on her.  The illustrations in this book are fairly detailed and in themselves worthy of discussion as a parents read along with their children.  But here's the greatest thing about this book - it's as a great a gift for teens and adults as it is for the recommended age range of 5-9.  As I read it, I thought of a long list of young women who attend the high school at which I work who sometimes tend to set their sights a little too low.  They see so many see many seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their lives and, as a result, often become complacent with what they have.  A book like this could be truly inspirational to these young ladies, especially those interested in fashion! Adults will love this book, too.  I know I have more than one friend who has one too many scarves already, and this cute little book about a fashion icon will be a nice surprise for them this holiday season. 

Whom You Know highly recommends Different Like Coco by Elizabeth Matthews!

Different Like Coco
written and illustrated
by Elizabeth Matthews
Ages 5–9 Kindergarten
Nonfiction picture book
$16.99 ($21.00 CAN)

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