About the Holiday
On Tailors Day we honor those who design and manufacture one-of-a-kind dresses, suits, and other outfits to precise specifications. With their vision and talents, tailors make the world a more beautiful place!
By Kenneth Kraegal
Jameson loved green pants—in fact, they were the only kinds of pants he wore. “When he wore green pants, he could do anything.” He flew to the basketball hoop for spectacular dunks; made Olympic gold-medal-deserving dives; and he could dance.” Sometimes Jameson’s mom and dad gave him different colored pants to wear, but somehow they ended up hanging from trees or flying from flagpoles, or even clothing neighborhood dogs.
One day Jameson’s cousin Armando and his fiancée Jo dropped by with a very important question. Jameson loved Jo. She “had the nicest smile Jameson had ever seen, and her eyes seemed to sparkle like the autumn sun shining upon a running river.” And when she asked if Jameson would like to be in their wedding, Jameson said, “‘Absolutely.’” Later, Jameson’s mom sat him down and explained the requirements: lots of standing, smiling nicely for photographs, using his best manners. “‘No problem,’” Jameson replied. “‘And one more thing,’ his mother said slowly. ‘You will have to wear a tuxedo.’” That sounded okay to Jameson too, until he learned the pants would be black. Jameson gasped.
At the tuxedo fitting, Jameson tried on pair after pair of black pants, but none were as handsome as his own green pants. His mother put down her foot, though. If he wanted to be in the wedding, he had to wear black pants. On the day of the wedding, Jameson still didn’t know what to do. Even moments before the ceremony was to begin, Jameson had not made up his mind. His mother kissed him on the forehead and left him to figure it out.
“Jameson sank in despair. ‘But how? HOW? How do I make such a decision? AAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!’” At that moment Jo poked her head out the door. “Her hair played happily in the sunny breeze, her eyes shone like the summer stars, and her smile warmed his very soul. ‘Hey,, Jameson! I’m so glad you’re here! I’ll see you inside!’” she said and then she was gone. Suddenly, Jameson’s decision was made.
Following the bridesmaids down the aisle, Jameson looked “quite dashing in his tuxedo!” He remembered all of his mother’s words, too. He stood still, smiled for the camera, and used his best manners. But then the music began. With a leap, a flip, and a whoosh, Jameson’s black pants came off to reveal his green pants underneath, “and Jameson danced like no one has ever danced before.”
Kenneth Kraegel’s at-once funny and sweet story of obsessive love will resonate with young readers and adults as well. Kids often go through stages where one outfit, food, drink, or activity becomes synonymous with their identity and only that thing will fit the bill. Kraegel’s straightforward and tender storytelling wonderfully portrays opportunities for Jameson’s independent thought while showing how love overcame and became personal preference when it mattered. The dialogue among the characters rings true and is inspirational modeling. Jameson’s ultimate solution to his dilemma is all-kid and will make his reading peers nod in appreciation.
Jameson, with a shock of curly hair and his ever-present green pants, is an adorable protagonist. Ready with a smile for Jo or when accomplishing daring feats, he also registers amusing alarm at the idea of wearing black pants. Children will laugh to see where Jamison’s non-green pants end up and will empathize with his agonizing indecision—and they may just want to try some of his pretty sweet dance moves too!
Ages 3 – 8 (great as a read-aloud for younger kids and also as an independent book for early and transitional readers)
Candlewick, 2017 | ISBN 978-0763688400
You’ll find books, art, coloring pages, and more by Kenneth Kraegel on his website!
Dance with Green Pants in this toe-tapping book trailer!
Tailors Day Activity
Sew Much Dress-Up Fun!
If you like playing dress-up, why not be your own tailor and make a one-of-a-kind outfit from your imagination. With only a few materials and supplies, you can be anything or anyone you want!
For the Knight’s Tunic
- Tee shirt with the sleeves cut off
- Thin cardboard (a cereal or other food box works well)
- Aluminum foil
- Paper or foam
- Permanent Markers
- Play jewels (optional)
- Fabric glue
- Belt, rope, or twine
- Cut the sleeves off of the T-shirt
- Use the cardboard to create a crest shape
- Cover the cardboard with aluminum foil
- Tape the aluminum foil if necessary
- With the markers, color a design with various shapes
- Alternately: glue play jewels to the crest
- On the paper draw a fleur de lis or other design
- Color the fleur de lis or other design
- Cut out the fleur de lis or other design
- Glue the fleur de lis to the crest
- Attach the finished crest to the tunic with fabric glue
- Tie a belt with the rope, twine, or belt
For the Dress
- Plastic tablecloth
- Belt or scarf
- Permanent Markers
- Newspaper or old sheeting to protect the floor or table from the permanent markers
- With the table cloth folded along one edge, cut a rectangle the appropriate size
- In the middle of the folded edge cut a V-shaped or rounded opening for the child’s head. Begin with a small opening and enlarge it as needed
- Lay the dress on newspaper or other material to protect the floor or table
- Draw and color shapes, lines, figures, or other designs on the dress
- Add a belt with a ribbon, a scarf, a piece of crepe paper garland, or other material
Picture Book Review