Parrots, Pugs, and Pixie Dust: A Book About Fashion Designer Judith Leiber

Little Bee. Sept. 2019. 40p. bibliog. notes. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781499808988.
K-Gr 4–Growing up Jewish in Budapest, Judith Leiber and her family spent much of World War II in hiding. She dreamed of building a career in handbag design. Later, Leiber married Gerson Leiber, an artist, and an American soldier. They sailed to the United States where she forged a new kind of fashion statement: crystal-covered handbags that were also works of art. Her creations gained immense popularity, especially with numerous first ladies. Many of her bags are now displayed in museums. Blumenthal’s alliterative text lightly summarizes Judith’s life and fashion career. The back matter includes an author’s note and bibliography that includes a link to the Leiber collection museum where readers can view the range of her handbag production. Deftly dotted watercolors capture the whimsical nature of the designer’s work. Two spreads are filled with bags in surprising shapes—french fries, a walkie-talkie, the parrots and pugs of the title, and more.
VERDICT From the pair that celebrated the work of photographer Bill Cunningham (Polka Dot Parade, 2018), this picture book biography will please a similar audience. This unabashedly pink and sparkly title is an artful introduction to an innovative stylist.

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