Little Girl Style Inspired by a Book – Charlotte Zolotow’s “I Like To Be Little”


Screen Shot 2011-11-02 at 9.54.00 PMOne of my very favorite children's authors is Charlotte Zolotow.  I remember my mother reading her to me when I was a little girl.  Zolotow captures childhood so acutely that I am transported, with each reading, back to my own.  Her books are both heartfelt and sincere – and completely in tune with the rhythm of children, the simplicity of life to a child.  

Happily, Amazon has a nice selection of her books here.  A couple of my favorites are William's Doll and The Sleepy Book, but my all-time favorite?

I Like to Be Little (pictured).

This book is a conversation between a little girl and her mother.  The little girl is explaining to her mother why she likes to be little.  And Mammas?  If you were once a little girl who loved crayons, birthday cakes, skipping through leaves, catching snowflakes on your tongue, and pretending your dining room table was your own tiny house…this book will break your heart.  In the best possible way.

I love the illustrations.  It shows a little girl being a little girl.  A little girl without glitter.  Without princess dresses or shirts that say "Lil' Fashionista".  A little girl with messy hair and sneakers who runs and jumps and thinks and plays.  And her outfits?  Totally adorable, yet completely practical.

If I ever had my own little girl, this is how I would dress her.  (For at least as long as she'd let me.)  

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Zara Roll-Neck T-Shirt | J.Crew Pleated Flannel Skirt | Zara Nylon Raincoat | J.Crew Blue Star Tights | Keds Graham Sneakers


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Children's Place long sleeve layering tee | Zara Heart Skirt | Polarn O. Pryet Jaquard Tights  | Cole Haan Kids Oxfords


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TalulaKnits Striped Hat on Etsy | Steve Madden Plaid Scarf | United Colors of Benetton Kid's Jacket | Old Navy Girl's Skinny Jeans  | Lands End Wellies For Kids | J.Crew Angora Mittens


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Mini Boden Stripey Stitched Jumper | Zara Topstitched Boyfriend Jeans | Keds Graham Sneakers | Smartwool Socks





  1. Great post! I have a little girl and now that she is walking she is soooo much more fun to dress up. I really like her to be comfortable, but definitely girlie. Thanks πŸ™‚

  2. These illustrations look so much like my Lily, messy hair and all. I think I need to look into these books! Also, I’m glad to see someone else against glitter and words on shirts πŸ˜‰

  3. So precious! My little girl wears a lot of “boyish” things, because (a) she likes them (exhibit A: train sweater), and (b) they are so much more practical than the thin-fabric-covered-with-glitter stuff that takes over the girls section.
    She, unfortunately, seems to have the same tendency towards height & weight that I do, so I know she won’t be wearing little kid clothing for long. I want to let her be a little girl as long as she can… especially since she’ll probably have to skip from the kids’ section to the women’s section (no “juniors” sizing in this house!)
    If stuff gets stains or rips, I try not to worry about it. Kids are kids, and should not be wearing such nice clothes that they (or their parents) are always worrying about keeping them clean.

  4. This is precious, thank you. What a wonderful book by a wonderful author! I’m not down with the princess diva unicorn girl clothing either, which tends to confuse people. They see my 1-year-old daughter in simple, neutral clothes and assume she’s a boy (even when she’s wearing the neon pink Chucks). Love this classic little girl style!

  5. So funny you write about this book today. My little 3 year old fashionista told me just this morning “Mom, I’m going to stay little forEVER.” Buying this book today. Thank you!

  6. I’m excited to read this book with my 4 year old. I too prefer simple clothes over all the super fussy glitter, frilly, and worded shirts. The images of this little girl remind me of my oldest daughter! Thanks for sharing.

  7. I love your blog but have never commented. But I just had to today, because I loved this post, especially this:
    “It shows a little girl being a little girl. A little girl without glitter. Without princess dresses or shirts that say “Lil’ Fashionista”. A little girl with messy hair and sneakers who runs and jumps and thinks and plays.”
    This. This is how I want my little girl (who has two brothers) to be and to dress. And now I’m totally going to be buying that book. Thank you!

  8. Thanks for all of the love, Mammas. This was probably one of my most favorite articles to write. πŸ™‚ Here’s to raising strong, capable little girls! (And Kylie – I shuddered when I saw your use of the word “Diva”. OMG – I forgot they keep spraying tees with that word. Ugh.)
    And Sheena – I had that exact same thought, LOL!

  9. Awesome post S. Thank u! Little M will be rockin’ these outfits for sure. You compiled a perfect wardrobe for a girl toddler.
    M – I KNEW IT! YAY! I hear spinning isn’t that outrageous as once thought. ;). Someone just told me that recently. :p

  10. I love this post so much. And I emailed it to my husband (we have an eight-month-old that he is just madly in love with) and he mentioned at least three times last night – hours and hours after I first emailed him – how great he thought it was. These books are definitely on the to-buy list.

  11. What a beautiful post. This opened my eyes to a whole new style of dressing little girls, which I will definitely keep in mind in case I ever have one. I think my son would love this book. too!

  12. OMG… I love this post!
    we have a house of 3 girls, and i tend to dress them all this way… I have a huge thing for polka dots and stripes and mismatched socks too… its sweet and girlie without the crappy garbage marketed to little girls πŸ™‚ Y
    Thank you for posting this!

  13. fantastic post!! Don’t forget about that itchy crinoline! Ugh! I try to make sure my girls are always ready for mud pies and playing ball. I feel like that’s what being a kid is all about!

  14. S- this is one of my favorite posts ever! what a creative idea- creating outfits from illustrations- i am definitely going to play at that too. have you seen “small magazine” or the blog? each issue they feature a fashion spread that features clothes available to buy in stores now, but they are shown in an illustration done by amazing artists. sometimes bears and foxes are wearing the jcrew clothes.

  15. This has ways been a favorite post of mine that I have come back to time and again. Biscuit (and “I can read” book series) has the cutest tru little girl style in it and I ways think of you!

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