Hello, friends! Our book today is Juno Valentine and the Fantastic Fashion Adventure, written by Eva Chen and illustrated by Derek Desierto, second in the pair’s series of girl-power fashion fantasies.
Picking up where Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes left off, we meet precocious fashionista Juno. In school, she learns that the next day will be picture day, and her teacher advises the class to wear something that makes them feel magical. But while her classmates all have special outfits in mind, Juno isn’t sure. Her friends and family have ideas, but none of them feel right. But when little brother Finn takes off into her closet – and disappears down the magical portal hidden there from the last book – Juno will have to race off to retrieve him. Along the way, she’ll meet fabulous feminist icons like Maya Lin and Josephine Baker, and listen to their advice for both catching Finn and solving her fashion conundrum. But can Juno make it back in time for picture day… and what will she wear?!
Delightful. While the premise is a little far out – and a little more exposition may have been helpful for readers who haven’t read the first book in the series – the tone and message of the book are both wonderful: fashion should make you feel your best, no matter what it looks like. Juno ends up with a mismatched outfit of Grace O’Malley’s pirate hat (“It’ll give you gumption!”), Grace Jones’ shoulder pads (“They’ll make you feel fierce!”), Michelle Obama’s ICONIC Balenciaga glitter boots (“I’m extra confident in them”), and more. Her parents momentarily balk, but Juno is celebrated for her unique style at school, and for the confidence it gives her. The illustrations, a cartoonish style with mixed-media elements deftly woven in, are charming, and feature real-life heroines of diverse races (though some different body types would also have been nice to see). The length was perfect, and JJ and I enjoyed the adventure. A fun tale for blossoming feminist fashionistas that shows it’s the person wearing the clothes that make an outfit fabulous. Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)