Parker Dresses Up (Ready to Read: Level One)

by Parker Curry (Author) Tajae Keith (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

The New York Times bestselling team behind Parker Looks Up returns with this Level 1 Ready-to-Read about the fun of dressing up and dreaming big!

Parker is playing dress up with her younger siblings, Ava and Cash. With each costume, Parker imagines what her life would be like if she were a doctor, a princess, or even a princess doctor. Because Parker knows that she doesn't need to limit herself to being one thing. The sky's the limit!

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School Library Journal

K-Gr 2- It's a rainy day, so Parker decides to play dress-up with her younger sister and brother. The siblings gleefully try on costumes and imagine themselves in various careers until an argument arises. Brother Cash, dressed as a chef, wants to play with sister Ava's fire hose. The siblings' mother helps them see that everyone can be more than one thing, and the children then have fun making unique combinations of costumes and accessories. The digitally created illustrations represent this Black family with realistic expressions and varying skin tones. They also provide clues about the family's lifestyle, showing the mother as a successful work-from-home parent, with a glimpse of the father sharing leisure time with the family. This is an accessible early reader text with a positive message about not placing each other into arbitrary boxes. The children are encouraged to dress up as whatever they would dream to be, even something fantastical like a "mermaid teacher," while the mother shares that she is both a mom and a writer. VERDICT An exploration of creativity and healthy communication that will be a valuable addition to early reader collections.

Copyright 2022 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission. 


A solid choice touching on sibling relationships, make believe, and conflict resolution.

Parker Curry
Parker Curry, nine years old, is a New York Times bestselling author and dynamic, curious young mind with a love for ballet, art, fashion, and inspiring others. Currently, Parker is a very curious, voracious learner in third grade, exploring her passions: sewing, writing, mathematics, and reading new books in hopes of expanding her understanding of the world around her. At two years old, Parker became an international inspiration when a profound photograph of her awestruck by Michelle Obama's portrait went viral. That extraordinary moment was the subject of Parker's first published book, Parker Looks Up, a New York Times bestseller and recipient of multiple literary recognitions. Precocious Parker lives with her family in Sherman Oaks, California, where she enjoys spending time at the beach, traveling abroad, knitting, sewing, crocheting, and reading to herself or audiences of children and adults alike.

Jessica Curry is a New York Times bestselling author, executive assistant, independent school registrar, public speaker and host, freelance writer, celebrity interviewer, and devoted, doting Mama to three children: Parker, Ava, and Cash. Jessica was born and raised in Washington, DC, and attended Morgan State University and Howard University. Jessica's debut children's picture book, written with her oldest daughter, Parker, was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and the California Young Reader Medal. The mother-daughter duo has since penned six additional children's books in hopes of inspiring others to dream big dreams and share their stories. Jessica's work has been featured by The New York Times, CNN, Forbes, NPR, NBC Nightly News, Access Hollywood, The Library of Congress National Book Festival, Good Morning America, The New-York Historical Society, and more. Jessica and her family reside in Sherman Oaks, California.

Brittany (Bea) Jackson, the New York Times bestselling and award-winning illustrator of Parker Looks Up and Parker Shines On, attended the College for Creative Studies and was a grand prize winner of the L. Ron Hubbard's Illustrator of the Future Award. In addition to her work as a children's book artist and a character and concept artist, Bea's art has been featured on books and comic covers as well as in various magazines. In 2021, Target launched Wondershop, a Christmas-themed collection, which included Bea's art on gift bags, gift boxes, and wrapping paper. She lives in Detroit, Michigan.

Tajae Keith is a painter with a focus on character design currently based in Oakland, California. Inspired endlessly by rap, the heartbeat of the Black community, she explores the punk-esque nature of Blackness through dynamic shape language and expressive colors. A night owl by nature, you can find her at her desk painting under the cover of darkness with a cup of coffee close by.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Simon Spotlight
Publication date
January 20, 2022
Ready to Read: Level One
BISAC categories
JUV051000 - Juvenile Fiction | Imagination & Play
JUV011010 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - African-American
JUV048000 - Juvenile Fiction | Clothing & Dress
JUV013070 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Siblings
JUV043000 - Juvenile Fiction | Readers | Beginner
JUV074000 - Juvenile Fiction | Diversity & Multicultural
Library of Congress categories
Brothers and sisters
African Americans
Readers (Publications)
Curry, Parker

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