Mad About Plaid

Mad About Plaid Cover

Published by HMH (release June, 2020); originally published by Harper Collins

"Don't worry, I'll take care of you." says Madison Pratt to her new plaid purse. But will she know what to do when the plaid speads like a virus all over town?


Everyone knows about King Midas' golden touch, but what about Madison Pratt's tartan touch? When Madison picks up a plaid purse in the park, "Her fingers tingled. / Her thumbs were hot. / Her arm started twitching and itching a lot. / Then the plaid from the purse crept slowly up her sleeve" and eventually covers all her clothing. Madison even weeps plaid tears at her plaid predicament. Her mother, a nurse, consults How To Cure a Plaid Curse, of course. Madison tries to comply with the remedy, but "a little plaid burp escaped her lips," and giggleworthy cartoon illustrations of plaid houses, cars, trees, poodles, and even squirrels capture the "plaid germ" spreading throughout the town. Madison races to the park to find the purse again so they can "reverse the plaidening curse!" Turning the purse inside out to hide the plaid reveals a "sad shade of blue," which infects Madison, the town, and the illustrations with the blues. But luckily, Madison knows how to "cure the blues": by singing "an extra-silly round of 'Piddly-diddly-doo's," which spreads silliness from place to place. "And as you probably already knew, / with a silly grin on, you CAN'T stay blue!" Readers will pore over the illustrations, which range from typical city scenes to spreads amusingly infected with the "plaid germ" and the blues before returning to normal. Madison and her mother present white, and their community includes individuals with skin tones and hairstyles that suggest diversity. A tartan twist on an old standard with plenty of humor both visual and verbal.
— Kirkus Reviews

McElmurry's highly energetic illustrations have an accomplished retro feel, yet they explode with her own brand of zany details. — Publishers Weekly

. . . Innovative and delightful, this tale may just cause a new fashion sensation.
— School Library Journal

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© 2019 Jill McElmurry Estate