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Hildegarde and the Great Green Shirt Factory
ISBN: 193236210x
By Ravay Snow
Review by: Shaun Moffitt

5/15/04

This large colorful picture book tells the story of a creative ewe who works in a shirt factory making boring green shirts. But, ah! She dreams of so much more—creative patterns and a variety of colors—anything but the boring and plain green t-shirts her boss Mr. Arno insists upon. Though Mr. Arno and the situation itself are both very stereotypical (“Mr. Arno didn’t like his workers to have fun. He liked things to be predictable. He liked routine.”), the story is fun, and the vivid illustrations would certainly be enjoyable for children to look at. In some ways, the book could be an introduction to the worker-bee ethic and the factory-line mentality. For this reason, even though it’s a picture book, older kids could certainly get more out of the story theme-wise, than traditional picture book readers might.

Hildegarde’s attempts to stifle her creativity compose most of the plot of the book, but when she has had enough, she decides to hold a fashion show at the factory, and of course, it is a great success. All her ewe coworkers join in by wearing Hildegarde’s fabulous clothes, and Mr. Arno is powerless to convince Hildegarde that she is wrong for thinking she can make extraordinary clothes. He doesn’t get angry (this is a child’s book, after all!), but he does insist that she is “just a ewe,” to which Hildegarde replies, “That’s right. I’m me!” For her first picture book Ravay Snow has created a cute and colorful story about individuality shining through conformity. The book is nicely made with colorful boards and end papers and is a credit to Snowbound Press in Littleton, Colorado.




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