Polka Dot Parade: A Book About Bill Cunningham

illus. by Masha D'yans. 40p. bibliog. notes. photos. little bee. Aug. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781499806649.
Gr 2–5—A picture book biography of the New York Times' fashion photographer Bill Cunningham offers plenty of glitz but little substance or usefulness. Cunningham spent decades taking photographs of glamorously dressed New Yorkers while he lived in spartan accommodations and dressed in a self-imposed uniform. As in Cunningham's photographs, the illustrations are fairly homogeneous: nearly all the people shown in the colorful watercolor illustrations are tall and willowy, dressed in eye-catching Western-style clothing and makeup, with no visible disabilities. While the text claims that fashion has nothing to do with wealth, pages of rich people at "first-nighter galas" and "doing puddle-jumping dances in their thousand-dollar shoes" hint otherwise. No particular connection is made to children. Bibliography, quotation sources, and an author's note constitute the back matter. The format does not suit the subject well and is unlikely to find much of a young audience either for pleasure reading or biography reports.
VERDICT Of interest only to specialized fashion collections.

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