Recently we invited 826CHI students into our office, and asked them to help us out with an unusual project. One that involved The Stars. The Chicago Public Schools students usually attend after-school tutoring at 826CHI, a local nonprofit, but our request was a little different from typical homework. We asked them to comment on celebrity style. If they didn’t, we explained, celebrities would never know what they looked like. So below, kids in grades 2–8 share their fashion-related thoughts on Mindy Kaling, Erykah Badu, Adrien Brody, and more. Spoiler: someone’s hair looks like river stones. But whose? Sammy Thomann (Grade 7) on Mindy Kaling The first thing that I like about this dress is that the colors work well together. The dark blue complements the light red. I also like that her hair looks really good. There are a few things I would change about this dress. I would make the top plain red and sleeveless, and the skirt wouldn’t have any ruffles or blue. I’d add some triangles of blue to the top on the sides and a skinny blue belt. The dress would come to knee length and the shoes would be plain dark blue. I’d lower the waistline of the skirt so it’s at her actual waist. Jazmin Campos (Grade 4) on Tilda Swinton This outfit is a hit. I like some parts of the outfit, but not all of them. I like how it is sewn together. The shapes on the shirt look like the outline of a ghost. While I don’t love the color gray, I like the gold sheen that reflects off of the gray. It is gold like a stinky, shiny goldfish. The pants are too long and she might trip and break a bone, even though she looks very tall like a giraffe. I don’t think I would wear it because it’s a bit too long. This outfit looks like it came from the future, where they will invent crazy hair. Her hair looks styled upwards. It looks like a closed flower blossom. She looks like she is going to a dinner party at a fancy restaurant, like Gourdanois, with other nice people. Or maybe she is the daughter of someone famous, but we don’t know who yet. We’ll have to wait and see! Maricarmen Gomez (Grade 7) on Erykah Badu Erykah Badu’s outfit is oversized, especially her sweater, her hat, and her earrings. The sweater is shaped like a cereal box, it’s the color of milk and looks like it is coated with sugary cereal. Her hat looks like a pencil eraser stuck on a giant dinner plate; maybe she traveled back in time and stole it from Abraham Lincoln and then painted it beige. The jumpsuit reminds me of a black manatee with its head chopped off. Speaking of the ocean, her earrings look like skinned fish. Katie Moy (Grade 3) on Will Ferrell I like this money suit. Will Ferrell looks like a millionaire. When other people wear this suit, they might be able to pretend that they’re a millionaire, too—maybe at Halloween, or a costume party. (But not when it’s too dark out. My mom told me not to wear black on Halloween. Some of this suit is black, but not much. It’s more greenish, because of the money.) Other people might think this costume is weird. Based on the background, it looks like someone was taking a picture, so maybe he was in a contest to see who’s the silliest, and the prize was taking his picture and posting it so he could be rich and famous. Of course, people might not like a money suit. If they’re poor, they might feel really hurt. It might seem like he’s bragging about being rich. But they should calm down and just pretend they’re rich, too. After all, the money is fake. Lily Gedney Merritt & Marcellus Finklea (Grade 8) on Chloe Sevigny Chloe Sevigny’s gold guitar dress is an interesting thing to wear to an event. Her dress is black and gold, which is usually a nice color combination, but I think if you’re going to wear gold, you should wear a lot to show people that you’re fancy. The small bit of gold on her dress is in the shape of a guitar with a scaly texture. The scales probably sound like jingle bells when she struts down the red carpet. The dress would look nicer if the guitar was lower so it didn’t look like it was stabbing her. Her shoes don’t match her outfit. They look like sandals she would wear while shooting a movie on the beach. Madison Grant (Grade 6) on Rihanna I think the floral pattern on Rihanna’s dress is composed of too many different colors and textures. The fishnet tights and the sparkly, black boots clash with the dress. Also, her hair is the same color as vodka sauce. Rihanna’s outfit would be more stylish if she ditched the poofy part of the skirt and extended the pattern below into a knee-length skirt. Or, she could have worn a crimson top with a milk-white skirt or black shorts. Iggy Azalea has a better sense of style because she coordinates her clothes with her shoes, and she does not dye her hair to go with her outfit. Claire Murphy (Grade 2) on Emma Watson I don't really like it because it's itchy. She cut her hair; I don't like it. I sort of like the jewelry. I wouldn't wear a dress like this to a party. It's gray like an elephant. The top is really tight. The bottom is really loose and puffy. She's wearing this dress at a party. She's wearing high heels; maybe the dress was a little bit too long so she put on high heels. There are 500 layers. There are sparkles. It would be hard to move. It would be hard to walk. It is probably really hot. It would taste like you couldn't chew it; you would have to cut it. It would make a puffy sound like fur. It smells like nothing. Rudy Fraher (Grade 3) on Adrien Brody His hairstyle is slicked like river stones. I like that. I also like that his jacket looks like it was stolen from a giant's closet while the giant was asleep. I like the color of the pants and jacket because they're brown like a dog, which is the opposite of my stuffed puppy, Webkinz. I like how the jacket looks like it's smooth and how it's shiny. I think Adrien Brody was polishing his shoes and then he went overboard and polished his pants and he said "Ooh, that looks good. I think I'll try that on my jacket." I don't like the shirt. Lady Gaga is a silly name. I like the shoes. They look very comfortable. I like comfortable shoes, but it depends on the kind of person you are: a stylish person or just an ordinary person who likes comfy shoes. Shop for computers, clothes, and markers in our Back to School shop. Illustrations: Jennifer Jackson, Groupon; Photo: Elisabeth Mikottis, GrouponRead More
Map & Contact Info
This place has not been rated by customers.
0% of 0 customers recommended
Nearly every child’s calendar revolves around the holiday season—namely, the family traditions, gift-giving, and fevered anticipation of Winter Break. This year, shake up their usual yuletide routines with these Chicagoland holiday activities. For the Model UN Secretary-General: Julmarknad Festival at the Swedish American Museum Julmarknad illuminates Sweden’s rich holiday traditions with live music, folk dancers, and a market of traditional gifts. A dazzling Santa Lucia procession highlights the event, featuring the typical girls in white dresses, red sashes, and candle-covered lingonberry crowns—said to symbolize new life in winter. While parents browse Scandinavian wares and foodstuffs, kids can play games, make crafts, and visit with Santa Claus. (5211 N. Clark Street. Saturday, December 7, and Sunday, December 8. Admission: $2 per person.) For the Kid Who Was Kermit for Halloween: Eiren Caffall & Lawrence Peters Present: "Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas" Live at The Hideout Bluegrass musicians bring Jim Henson’s 1978 television special to life with renditions of such Muppet tunes as “The Bathing Suit That Grandma Otter Wore" and "There Ain't No Hole in the Washtub." Family-friendly opening acts include The Tiny Cover Band—composed of a miniature guitar, piano, drums, and trombone—as well as Adventure Sandwich, a whimsical, interactive “live-action cartoon” based around themes such as creative problem-solving and imagination. Festive holiday video clips keep young ones entertained between sets. (1354 W. Wabansia Avenue. Saturday, December 14, at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tickets: $10 for adults, $7 for kids.) For the Cultured Kid: 32nd Annual Treasure Hunt and Tea Party at The Art Institute The four stops on this treasure hunt take families through the halls of The Art Institute, where kids take in such iconic works as Grant Wood's American Gothic and Chagall’s stained-glass windows. Once they’ve filled their activity books with all four stamps, kids can create some art of their own or discuss Impressionism with Artie the Lion at the celebratory tea party. (111 S. Michigan Avenue. Sunday, December 8, with start times at 10:45 a.m., noon, and 1:30 p.m. Admission: $30 for members, $35 for nonmembers, and $15 for children 2 and older; children younger than 2 are free.) For the Junior Steampunk: Redmoon's Winter Pageant at Redmoon Theater If your child has not yet witnessed the larger-than-life whimsy of a Redmoon performance, now’s the perfect chance. The group’s signature shadow puppets, dance routines, and steampunk machines are back for the annual winter pageant, which this year chronicles the tale of a plucky pigeon on a mission to bring light back into the world of his feathered friends. (2120 S. Jefferson Street. Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. December 13–December 22. Tickets: $25 for adults, $15 for children; children 3 and younger are free.) For the Kids Who Always Lose Their Mittens: Snow Much Fun at Chicago Children’s Museum From ice skating and sledding to snowmen and snowball fights, Snow Much Fun manages to capture the best parts of winter—and keep it all indoors. There’s no shoes or jacket required on the “urban ice rink,” which allows sock-footed skaters to perfect their graceful glides without risking frostbite. Siblings can resolve their rivalries at the fluffy snowball station or dress “snow people” up in fancy fabrics and dream up way snappier names than “Parson Brown.” (700 E. Grand Avenue. Open daily through Sunday, January 5. Museum admission is $14 for children and adults; children younger than 1 are free.) For Broadway Babies: "The Snow Queen, or When Christmas Freezes Over!" at Piccolo Theatre In the British tradition of holiday pantomimes (musical comedies based loosely on fairy tales), Piccolo Theatre’s 13th annual holiday show adds catchy melodies to a vintage Hans Christian Andersen yarn. Kids can compare Disney’s take on the tale (Frozen) with this live-action romp, which follows Gerda and her three chums as they fight to free their friend Kai, who’s been imprisoned by the evil Snow Queen. (600 Main Street, Evanston. Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. through December 21. Tickets: $25 for adults, $10 for children 10 and younger.) Photos courtesy of Chicago Children's Museum and the Art Institute of ChicagoRead More
Poetry has a reputation for being stuffy, boring, and inaccessible. Just don’t tell that to Mairead Case. Before she stepped into the role of Youth Services Coordinator at the Poetry Foundation Library (61 W. Superior St.), Case worked as a volunteer coordinator for Young Chicago Authors’ Louder Than a Bomb youth poetry festival. There, she saw just how relevant poetry can be to Chicago’s teenagers. “There are a couple poems that people wrote at YCA that really speak to life in Chicago,” Case says. “Kevin Coval wrote one about riding the Blue Line, and José Olivarez wrote about how he always says his name differently depending on who he’s talking to.” Now that she’s charged with introducing young children to the Poetry Foundation’s massive library, Case often finds herself drawing on her experience with YCA. She constantly searches the library’s 30,000 volumes for books that similarly echo the real-life experience of a kid growing up in Chicago. The books that she does find are available for kids and their parents to peruse during the library’s open hours (Monday–Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.). But for the library, availability has always been less of a problem than publicity. The Poetry Foundation houses one of the most expansive collections of poetry in the world, and many local parents and children don’t realize that it’s right in their backyard. Case and Katherine Litwin, the library’s director, are out to change that. Learning to Play with Language One of their surest tactics is to catch kids at a young age. I spoke with Litwin about some of the weekly events the library puts on to accomplish this—in particular, an event called “Poemtime” geared toward children aged 2–5. Held every Wednesday, the event often reveals something that both Case and Litwin have noticed in their time at the foundation: how naturally receptive young children are to poetry. “They’re very open to playing with language,” Litwin explains. “If you look at books for very small kids, they’re almost all written in rhyme, which I think really has to do with the musicality of language. That’s something that kids respond to innately.” But the young kids aren’t the only ones who react in exciting, unpredictable ways. “When we have a group that’s a little bit older, we’ll read them a poem and then let them play something like Mad Libs,” Litwin explains. “They’ll get the same poem, and they have to insert words into it.” If they’re feeling especially daring, Litwin and Case will try to introduce the concept of “found” poetry, which compiles and rearranges words from various different texts. “Once, we looked at two books that were written about Hurricane Katrina,” Litwin recalls. “One of them was controversial because it used the words of Katrina survivors without getting permission from those people, so we asked the kids, ‘Well, what do you think?’” They were met with a grab bag of reactions. One kid just shook his head and said, “This is a huge mess,” remembers Case. Another’s reaction: “Oh my God, this is incredible!” For her part, Litwin loves the debate. “There’s not a right or wrong answer,” she says. “Contemporary poets don’t even agree on these issues.” Case often finds humor—and a kind of refreshing honesty—in the way kids interpret the art in the Poetry Foundation’s rotating exhibition room. “There was this Joan Mitchell painting in here for a while, and it was very fun to look at it with them. This one kid wrote a poem that said [the painting] reminds him of when his mom burns macaroni and cheese. And it was very funny, because it did look like that.” Rhyme and Relevance “I think that here in Chicago, there are a lot of different ways that poetry has been taught,” Case reflects, “and a lot of kids think it has nothing to do with their lives.” But she thinks that the experience of living and commuting in a modern city like Chicago creates exciting opportunities to engage with the medium. These opportunities are hardly limited to annual festivals such as Louder Than a Bomb. In a city with nearly three million residents, it doesn’t take long to find a teenager with something to say. Weekly events such as YCA’s #WordPlay workshop and open mic exist to amplify their voices, but Case insists that there’s also a joy in experiencing poetry on the page. “Poetry is something you can just hold in your hand. You can browse a book of poetry a lot more easily than you can browse a book of fiction,” she says. Poetry may never take over the world, but that’s not the point. So long as Chicago’s kids know what’s out there, there may come a day when they reach for a book of poems instead of a pair of headphones to pass the time between train stops. The Poetry Foundation Library is open Monday–Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Browse the foundation’s website for children’s poetry resources and a calendar of upcoming events.Read More