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Dressing Up the Stars

The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith Head

Illustrated by Diana Toledano

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About The Book

Discover the true story of how a shy miner’s daughter became one of the most legendary costume designers in Hollywood in this inspiring nonfiction picture book biography.

As a child in the small mining town of Searchlight, Nevada, Edith Head had few friends and spent most of her time dressing up her toys and pets and even wild animals using fabric scraps. She always knew she wanted to move somewhere full of people and excitement. She set her sights on Hollywood and talked her way into a job sketching costumes for a movie studio.

Did she know how to draw or sew costumes? No. But that didn’t stop her!

Edith taught herself and tirelessly worked her way up until she was dressing some of the biggest stars of the day, from Audrey Hepburn to Grace Kelly to Ginger Rogers. She became the first woman to head a major Hollywood movie studio costume department and went on to win eight Academy Awards for best costume design—and she defined the style of an era.

About The Author

Photo courtesy of the author

Jeanne Walker Harvey studied literature and psychology at Stanford University and has worn many job hats, ranging from being a roller coaster ride operator to an attorney, a middle school language arts teacher, and a long-time docent for school groups at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She is the author of several books for young readers, including the picture book biographies Dressing up the Stars: The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith HeadAblaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas, and Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines. Jeanne lives in Northern California. Visit her online at JeanneHarvey.com.

About The Illustrator

Photograph © Diana Toledano

Diana Toledano is an illustrator, writer, and educator. She is also a Pisces who loves children’s books, patterns, and dancing her heart out. Originally from Spain, Diana (pronounced the Spanish way: dee-ah-na) grew up in Madrid where she studied art history and illustration. Now she lives in San Francisco with her husband and two fluffy cats. Her mixed media art seeks to capture the magic of the ordinary. Diana’s product designs, picture books, board books, and chapter books have been published and sold all over the world. Diana also teaches workshops for kids and adults. She enjoys doing school visits and speaking at conferences. Learn more at Diana-Toledano.com.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Beach Lane Books (September 20, 2022)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781534451063
  • Ages: 3 - 8

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Raves and Reviews

"[Edith] Head’s own path to working in the movies wasn’t direct or smooth, but Harvey highlights the determination, self-confidence, and talent that got her there (and earned her multiple Academy Awards for costume design). Pattern, texture, and design are key in Toledano’s mixed-media artwork... and the charming, childlike quality of the illustrations will appeal greatly to young readers. Together, the art and storytelling capture Head’s belief in the transformative magic of costumes, which will certainly strike a chord with dress-up enthusiasts."

– Booklist, STARRED REVIEW, 07/01/2022

"Film costume designer Edith Head (1897–1981) takes center stage in this celebratory narrative of her path to becoming an Academy Award winner... with starry-eyed prose, the result is a glamorous life story with a Hollywood ending."

– Publishers Weekly, 8/29/2022

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