Shabby Sunday: The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes – 1973 #ShabbySunday #VintageBooks #ChildrensBooks #BookReview

Shabby Sunday

I have a bunch of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every now and then sharing one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? If so, please feel free to participate as anyone can join. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.

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Last week I shared:

Old Yeller by Fred Gibson

This week’s shabby share is:

The Hundred Dresses

By Eleanor Estes

The Hundred Dresses is a book about a girl named Wanda Petronski who’s bullied at school because she’s different. Wanda is polish and the other students in class (particularly a girl named Peggy) make fun of her name and harass her outside of school whenever possible.

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Dresses seem important to the school girls and it’s always an interest when a girl comes to school wearing a new one. Wanda attempts to fit in (as the girls all admire a student’s new dress) by speaking up and telling the girls she has a hundred dresses at home.

“A hundred of them. All lined up in my closet.”

The other kids don’t believe her and just make fun of her even more. After all, she shows up to school wearing the same faded blue dress day after day. Not long after, Wanda doesn’t show up to school anymore and everyone wonders where she is.

Even though Peggy never thought twice about making fun of Wanda, her friend Maddie felt bad about it. It niggles her every night, especially now that Wanda’s been absent from school for so long. Is she coming back? All Maddie can do now is reflect on the fact that she never had the guts to stand up to Peggy for fear of being the next victim.

The day arrives when the school art contest winners will be announced. Everyone is excited when they walk into the room and see at least a hundred different sketches hanging up. They’re speechless and can’t believe the beauty of the art pieces. Who made all of them? The same day, all the children learn what happened to Wanda through a letter from her father. The question is: Will the class ever get to see or speak to Wanda again?

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This is such a lovely book. Our copy is a paperback from 1973 and in really good shape for it’s age. I believe this was originally written in 1944. It does have some illustrations, but not much color.

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I purchased this at a garage sale for only ten cents. This book is just one example of why I can’t stay away from book sales!

With themes of bullying, racial discrimination, and forgiveness, this is such an important book for children. What I loved most about the book is Wanda’s forgiveness, especially when the students didn’t even ask for it. What I didn’t like, was that it’s unclear whether or not Peggy or the other bullying students truly learned their lesson.

I don’t remember reading this when I was in elementary school, but I’m glad to have read it with my kids now.


Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon:

  • Grade Level: 4 – 6
  • Paperback: 79 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; 1st edition (January 30, 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590062190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590062190

Other blogs who have participated in Shabby Sunday:

Nicky@ An Introverted Bookworm

Claire@ Brizzle Lass Books

Author Didi Oviatt

Sassy Brit@ Alternative-Read

Brittany @ PerfectlyTolerable

Shari @ Sharisakurai.com

Jennifer @ Jennifertarheelreader.com


Thanks for checking out Shabby Sunday! Have you read this book? Do you have any shabby books to share? Feel free to share your thoughts below.

♥️ Mischenko

25 thoughts on “Shabby Sunday: The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes – 1973 #ShabbySunday #VintageBooks #ChildrensBooks #BookReview

  1. David R. Dowdy

    This is interesting. When I think of bullying, boys always come to mind. This book is proof that I shouldn’t jump to that conclusion. Great book about an issue that doesn’t seem to go away.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. stephanie haddad

    You’ve peaked my curiosity now with this book Jen. I’ll be sure to read it so I can see how the story turns out and what actually becomes of Wanda. Nice review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, I love how this sounds, favorite M! And your copy is so lovely! It’s too bad it doesn’t portray the students learning a lesson, but it’s a great opportunity for discussion if a sensitive and in-tune parent (like you) picks up on it. ♥️ Happy week ahead, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jen! I think some of the students learned a lesson, but it just isn’t real clear. Maddie definitely did and that’s apparent pretty quickly. We did have a good discussion about it. Happy week to you too, Jen! Hope all is well. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh!!!! I truly loved this book in Elementary school & carried it around with me everywhere. You just brought back a whole rush of memories for me. So glad you enjoyed this one with your kiddos, Mischenko. ♡

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Shabby Sunday: Cabbage Moon by Jan Wahl & Adrienne Adams – 1965 – ReadRantRock&Roll

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