Ash dresses her friends by Fu Wenzheng

Have you ever made something  from scratch?

And then been able to give that object to someone else?

Ash dresses her friends by Fu Wenzheng is a wonderful story about friendship, sharing, kindness and the beauty of being able to make things yourself.

Ash is a shy little bird and she doesn’t have many friends until she starts to use her wonderful gift – her ability to create clothing and objects from a beautiful piece of red material.

Ash creates many things including a shirt, arm chair cover, a dress and a scarf! She spreads her ability and love all over the neighbourhood and brings joy to so many through the simple act of kindness.

Ash could have kept the red material all to herself and made so many wonderful things from it but she chose to share and make other animals lives happier.

Ash dresses her friends is a wonderful story about how we can be kind to others, how we can share our gifts to make others happy and how we can make things on our own.

Many of us resort to the shops to buy things for friends – perhaps this book will inspire you to make something of your own next time a friend needs a present, a pick me up or just a reminder of how important they are in your life.

The illustrations really highlight the friendships being developed, the happiness each gift brings and the vibrancy of the material Ash uses in each creation.

I loved the red material Ash used and hopefully one day I might just find something made out of it!

So what else can you do at home?

SELF ESTEEM

  • Explore the gifts your child has. Talk to them about what they can do to make others happy and to show them how special they both are.
  • Look at how Ash felt shy and sad and explore times your child has felt like this.
  • How do friends make us feel good?

SUSTAINABILITY

  •  Ash made things herself out of one piece of material. Where do your clothes come from and who made them? Can you make the effort to buy more clothes from locally and ethically made sources?
  • Explore the Fashion revolution to see how you can be more aware of how your clothes were made, what they are made of and where they go once you have finished with them.

ART

  • Explore the techniques used by Fu (contrast between red and black/grey) and how this impacted the story. Create your own artwork using two contrasting colours.
  • Create your own print like the red material.

COMMUNITY

  • How can you play a bigger role in your community? Explore different groups or community days and how you can be a part of them so you know more people around you.

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Ash Dresses Her Friends

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Pyjamas and books

Reading a book in pyjamas is a wonderful thing. Cotton, wool or some mixture of fabric, pyjamas are a sign to slow down, relax and read.


But where are your pyjamas from? Who made them? And what are they made from?

As someone who lives in a developed nation I have access to a lot of fast fashion and having two kids – this fast fashion has been a first choice of mine for many reasons

– It is cheap

– It is easy to find

– It will last as long as I need it as children grow so fast.

But it is time to stop.

It is time to stop using fast fashion brands whose produce is creating more harm than good through one use items of clothing, harmful chemicals in the fabrics and mistreatment of the workers who create the clothes in developing nations.

There is a wonderful app called Good On you and this has been a great educational tool for me when I have been at the shops or online. It is free and definitely worth the download.

But moving back to our pyjamas.

Cotton pyjamas are a sure sign of summer and the smell of summer is in the air so I have jumped online and bought some divine pyjamas from Eternal Creation.

This company is based in Dharamsala in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas and supports 50 workers who lovingly create each item of clothing. These workers are treated fairly and work in a space that is fun. They create beautiful clothes, send them straight to your door and have an easy to use website.

But remember – If you can’t afford to buy new pyjamas the next best option (which we love doing) is going to op shops and also pairing up with friends and swapping clothes around.

Next time you are searching for something comfortable to read in at night time – try something that is made of natural fabric, supports local communities and works with the natural environment. You’ll be winning all the way to bed!

Need some tips on how to teach your child about fair trade clothing? Try this – teaching your child about fair trade clothing.