REVIEW: The Dress Up Box by Patrick Guest and Nathaniel Eckstrom

Published: 1st May 2018

Publisher: Little Hare Books (an imprint of Hardie Grant Egmont)

Pages: 32

Format: Hardback picture book (borrowed from library)

RRP: $24.99

5/5 Stars

The Frolleys have to move from their beloved house at 32 Sunshine Avenue to a place with dripping taps, stinky carpets and ants.

But they have brought something with them that can turn any house into a home.

The Dress-Up Box is a story about childhood, belonging and the power of imagination.


The Dress-Up Box by Patrick Guest and illustrated by Nathaniel Eckstrom is a story about the small things in life that make you happy and a place home. With themes of friendship, overcoming change and the power of one’s imagination, it’s a pretty much perfect picture book.

Essentially The Dress-Up Box follows the Frolley family as they move from their ideal (but rented) house and are forced to leave behind their much-loved neighbours The Choongs, the horses and the bamboo forest they played in. Their new house has none of their previous creature comforts; their neighbours aren’t as fun and the house smells. But their dress-up box has survived the move, and the kids learn to be happy in their new environment as they play pretend and let their imaginations roam wild.

I loved everything about this book. Patrick Guest’s story is relatable and fun. He uses short, simple sentences, usually limited to a couple of lines per page, that can’t help but make you feel all warm and fuzzy. Nathaniel Eckstrom’s illustrations are brilliant and perfectly combine with Guest’s narrative, giving it another layer as it brings the story to life before your eyes. The Dress-Up Box is the kind of book that makes you smile with childhood wonder. it brings back memories and feels like a lovely warm bear hug from a loved one.

The Dress-Up Box has been shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s 2019 Book of the Year: Early Childhood award.

The Dress-Up Box is a winner in my eyes.

To purchase a copy of The Dress-Up Box, visit the following online retailers:

Hardie Grant | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | QBD |


To learn more about Patrick Guest, visit the following social media sites:

Patrick Guest Website | Goodreads 


To learn more about Nathaniel Eckstrom, visit the following online retailers:

Nathaniel Eckstrom Website | Facebook | Instagram |

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