Books To Inspire: November 2023

Prepared by Angela ChenBoy in costume


by Jessica Love

This is a beautiful story about a boy named Julián with a wild imagination and an abundance of style. From Julián to his abuela, everyone in this book is decked out in fabulous threads. Julián is inspired by the eclectic fashion he observes on the subway and in the streets. When he returns home, he is resourceful, using houseplants and curtains to create an ensemble. Not only does his abuela give him a stylish accessory to complete his look, she gives him the ultimate gift of love and acceptance when his style veers a bit from the norm.

At first glance, readers will notice the simplicity of the writing in “Julián is a Mermaid”. In fact, author and illustrator Jessica Love almost published the book without words. The gorgeous watercolor illustrations alone vividly unveil the emotions behind this heartwarming celebration of self-expression and unconditional love.

Published by Candlewick Press on April 23, 2018. Author and illustrator Jessica Love also wrote the endearing stories “Julián at the Wedding” and “A Bed of Stars”. “Julián is a Mermaid” is suitable for ages 3–7. A hardcover copy can be found in the Children’s Corner of the Neilson Hays Library.

Dress code book cover


by Véronique Hyland

Don’t judge a book by its cover: “Dress Code” isn’t just for fashion connoisseurs. This book has something for everyone—history buffs, sneakerheads, and aspiring designers alike. Each chapter covers a defining fashion statement. Explore the fashion throughline that threads history from wartime style to the enduring allure of the “French girl” archetype. Other fascinating topics include the exploitation of cultural appropriation, couture’s influence on body image, and the boom of athleisure.

Author Véronique Hyland is Elle Magazine’s fashion features director who famously coined the term “millennial pink”. She expertly shares well-researched knowledge with captivating writing that is both enjoyable and educational. Not only does Hyland explain each fashion phenomenon, she also dives into the origins and influences through varying perspectives of pop culture, power, sexuality, class, religion, and economics. Readers will finish this book with a deeper understanding of society and how everyone is connected to fashion, which is about so much more than just clothes. “Dress Code” is an eye-opening cultural lesson through a sartorial lens that will change the way readers view fashion.

Published by Harper Perennial on March 15, 2022. A hardcover copy of “Dress Code” can be found in the non-fiction section of the Neilson Hays Library.

About the Author

Angela Chen, a Neilson Hays Library Board Member and the Children’s Program Chair. The Neilson Hays Library is Thailand’s premier English-language library. The Children’s Program offers Saturday Story Time, a cozy Children’s Corner, and special holiday events. Adult Programs include concerts, art exhibitions, book club, and book sales. Located in a beautiful historic building with a garden and cafe on site: 195 Surawong Road, Bangkok 10500, Thailand. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook.