Camille Andros Discusses The Dress and the Girl, and Finding the Extraordinary in Ordinary
Dr. Anna Iacovetta | The Children’s Book Review | December 5, 2018
Get to know Camille Andros. You will be hearing a lot about her!
Camille Andros, up and coming author of the new book The Dress and the Girl, brings all her experience – both as a professional and mother, to her work. Her most recent book exposes the wonderful nexus between a girl and her dress. Girls and women can relate to this special and universal relationship. This interview uncovers a glimpse into the Ms. Andros’ talent.
Dr. Anna Iacovetta: You mentioned in the note to readers, that The Dress and the Girl was inspired by your husband’s Greek, immigrant relatives. How did you come up with the overall premise of the girl losing her favorite dress?
Camille Andros: I attended a party where a woman came dressed in a vintage 1940’s tea party dress. I looked at that dress and immediately wondered “if that dress could talk what stories would it tell us?” I wondered where it had been and what occasions it had been worn for. That was the impetus for the story of following the life of a favorite dress.
What is your favorite part of the story?
One of my favorite spreads is when we get to see the girl, now grown, gazing into the shop window and seeing her dress again after all their time apart.
You incorporated the idea of how something ordinary can turn into something extraordinary. What was your thought process behind emphasizing the “extraordinary”?
I think so often we think of our lives as ordinary when really they are only ordinary to us because that’s what’s happening to us. I think we can find extraordinary elements in our ordinary everyday lives. And when we recognize the extraordinary in the ordinary our lives are richer for it.
The illustrations flowed perfectly with the story. Had you worked with Julie Morstad prior to the project? How did the pairing of your writing and her illustrations evolve as the book was being created?
No, Julie and I had not worked together before The Dress and The Girl. I was thrilled when she agreed to illustrate the book. I’ve long been a big fan of hers. Authors and illustrators actually don’t have any interaction during the book making process. The editor and art director work together with the illustrator to design the art for the book. It’s always such a treat when the art shows up in my inbox.
How would you like to see The Dress and the Girl used in homes and classrooms?
When I finish a book and it’s out in the world I feel like it doesn’t belong to me anymore. It’s the reader’s book now and they get to use it however it best suits them. It will mean something different to each person depending on their current circumstances and past life experience. But I do think picture books are an excellent source to use as conversation starters in any classroom from K-12. Units on immigration, family history, and culture can use The Dress and The Girl as in introduction to these important topics.
Favorite children’s book?
I have SO many but the book that made me want to write my own was The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. A contemporary favorite is Swan by Laurel Snider illustrated by Julie Morstad.
What’s next for you?
I just finished up edits for two contracted picture books that will be out in 2019 and finished a fresh new picture book manuscript as well. I’m also working on a young adult novel that is really fun.
Written by Camille Andros
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Publisher’s Synopsis: A little girl and her favorite dress dream of an extraordinary life. They enjoy simple pleasures together on a beautiful Greek island. They watch the sunset, do chores, and pick wildflowers on the way home. One day, the dress and the girl must leave the island and immigrate to the United States. Upon arrival, the girl is separated from the trunk carrying her favorite dress, and she fears her dress is lost forever. Many years later, the girl—now all grown up—spots the dress in a thrift store window. As the two are finally reunited, the memories of their times together come flooding back. While the girl can no longer wear the dress, it’s now perfect for her own daughter—and the new journey of a girl and her dress begins. Featuring lush illustrations, The Dress and the Girl is a stunning picture book about memory and the power of the items we hold most dear.
Ages 4+ | Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers | 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1-4197-3161-7
Other books by Camille Andros:
Charlotte the Scientist is Squished published by HMH/Clarion
Charlotte the Scientist Finds a Cure coming March 2019
From a Small Seed: The Story of Eliza Hamilton coming Fall 2019 from Macmillan
About the Author
Camille Andros has made her home in Israel, Utah, Arizona, California, Ohio, Nevada, and, now, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She has her BA in health science, is an EMT, and danced ballet for fourteen years.
This interview—Camille Andros Discusses The Dress and the Girl, and Finding the Extraordinary in Ordinary—was conducted between Camille Andros and Dr. Anna Iacovetta. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Bullying, Bunny Books, Glasses, Picture Book, and School.