In Kat Macleod's whimsical, brilliantly illustrated picture book The Tiny Tailors, four miniature garden-dwelling people gather items from the natural world to create resplendent fashion for an upcoming Spring Parade.
The tailors, who have a variety of skin colors, work in a little red workshop "far below shady treetops, where birds swoop and bugs scuttle." One by one, they venture into the lush garden where they are dwarfed by yellow daisies and blue forget-me-nots as they search for materials for their garments.
Each tailor finds treasures like "armfuls of blue blossoms and a precious lost earring" as they seek the ideal accessory to complete their outfits. The text invites readers to scan the illustrations to help find those final touches: "But is it missing something?... Can you see it?" This interactive element leads readers to a reward at story's end: the Tiny Tailors model their glorious outfits atop a dazzling rainbow float.
Macleod's joyful outdoor fantasy world is full of depth and texture. Swooping, swirling green passionfruit vines create a satisfying visual flow, and the fruit's leaves embody a rich, velvety quality. Each character utilizes a unique primary and secondary hue in their design, such as the first tailor who finds inspiration in layering "shiny red berries and orange marigolds." An even closer look reveals color-coordinated insects who assist the tailors in their work, and are subtly positioned to hint at the final outfit additions. Macleod's graceful and sensory complex illustrations are a delight, and readers will likely revel in the prismatic colored final spread. --Kieran Slattery, freelance reviewer, teacher, co-creator of Gender Inclusive Classrooms