The Hundred Dresses II – NCERT Solutions

Q. What did Mr. Petronski’s letter say?

Ans. Mr. Petronski was Wanda’s father. He wrote a letter to the teacher, Miss Mason. He informed her that his daughter Wanda and Jake would not come to school any more. They were moving to a big city where no one would make fun of them because of their names.

Q. Is Miss Mason angry with the class, or is she unhappy and upset?

Ans. Miss Mason is unhappy and upset. She is sure that none of the students would knowingly hurt anyone’s feelings because of a long and unfamiliar name. She thinks that it all happened in utter thoughtlesness. However, it is something unfortunate and sad. She asks the students to think about it.

Q. How does Maddie feel after listening to the note from Wanda’s father?

Ans. Maddie could not concentrate on her work. She had a sick feeling. She had not liked Peggy asking Wanda how many dresses she said. Maddie now feels guilty thinking that she could do nothing to stop Peggy asking such questions. She had stood by silently. She thinks that she is a coward.

Q. What does Maddie want to do?

Ans. Maddie wants to tell Wanda that she hadn’t meant to hurt her feelings. She wants to find Wanda Petronski. It is possible that Wanda might not have moved away. She would go and tell Wanda that she had won the contest. She wants to tell her that she is smart and the hundred dresses are beautiful.

Q. What excuses does Peggy think up for her behaviour? Why?

Ans. Peggy is feeling guilty. That is the reason why he thinks up excuses for her behaviour. She says that she never called Wanda a foreigner or made fun of her name. She never thought that Wanda had the sense to know that they were making fun of her. She thought she was too dumb.

Q. What are Maddie’s thoughts as they go to Boggins Heights?

Ans. Maddie hoped that they would find Wanda. She wanted to tell her that they were sorry that they made fun of her. She would tell her that the whole school thought her wonderful. They would ask her not to move away. They would assure her that everybody would be nice to her. She and Peggy would fight anybody who was not nice.

Q. Why does Wanda’s house remind Maddie of Wanda’s blue dress?

Ans. Peggy and Maddie after all reached Wanda’s house at Boggins Heights. The house and its small yard looked shabby but clean. It reminded Maddie of Wanda’s dress, her faded blue cotton dress, shabby but clean.

Q. What does Maddie think hard about? What important decision does she come to?

Ans. Maddie could not sleep that night. She thought about Wanda and her faded blue dress and the little house she lived in. She thought of the glowing picture those hundred dresses made— all lined up in the classroom. She sat up in her bed and thought hard about how they had treated Wanda. She finally came to the important conclusion she was never going to keep silence if anybody made fun of someone looking funny or having strange names. She would speak up. She won’t mind losing even Peggy’s friendship.

Q. What did the girls write to Wanda?

Ans. The girls wrote a friendly letter to Wanda. They told her that she had won the contest. They told her how pretty her drawings were. They asked her if she liked her new place and her new teacher. They signed it with lots of X’s for love. They mailed the letter to Boggins Heights, writing ‘Please Forward’ on the envelope.

Q. Did they get a reply? Who was more anxious for a reply, Peggy or Maddie? How do you know?

Ans. Peggie and Maddie waited for a long time for reply. After a long time, Wanda’s letter was received by the school. Maddie was more anxious for the reply. We know it because Maddie kept making speeches about Wanda at night, defending her from those who wanted to tease her. But Peggy had begun to forget the whole business.

Q. How did the girls know that Wanda liked them though they had teased her?

Ans. In her letter, Wanda had wished her teacher and all the girls merry Christmas. She also wrote about giving Peggy the drawing of the green dress with the red trimming. She also gave her friend Maddie the drawing of the blue dress. She also wrote that she missed her teacher. This shows that Wanda liked the girls though they had teased her.

Q. Why do you think Wanda’s family moved to a different city? Do you think life there was going to be different for their family?

Ans. Wanda’s family moved to a different city because the girls in the school had been teasing her because of her funny name. Wanda’s family had decided to move to a big city where there were plenty of people with funny names. So life there would be different for their family.

Q. Maddie thought her silence was as bad as Peggy’s teasing. Was she right?

Ans. Peggy was Maddie’s closest friend. She used to make fun of Wanda by asking her how many dresses she had. Maddie didn’t like this. But she stood by silently. She didn’t have the courage to ask Peggy to stop asking such questions. She didn’t want to lose her friendship. Wanda had to leave the school and the town because of this teasing. Maddie felt very bad about it. She was right in thinking that her silence was as bad as Peggy’s teasing because it amounted to supporting what Peggy was doing.

Q. Peggy says, “I never thought she had the sense to know we were making fun of her anyway. I thought she was so dumb. And gee, look how she can draw!” What led Peggy to believe that Wanda was dumb? Did she change her opinion later?

Ans. Wanda was a poor Polish girl. She used to wear only one dress in school. Peggy and other girls made fun of her. They asked her how many dresses she had. Wanda replied that she had a hundred dresses. The girls laughed at this because they knew that she had only one dress. Although Wanda knew that the girls were making fun of her, she never protested. That is why Peggy thought that she was dumb and stupid. However, when Wanda stood first in the contest for drawing, Peggy changed her opinion about Wanda.

Q. What important decision did Maddie make? Why did she have to think hard to do so?

Ans. Maddie did not like Peggy’s making fun of Wanda. But Peggy was her closest friend and she didn’t want to lose her as a friend. So she never asked Peggy to stop teasing Wanda. But Maddie was greatly pained when Wanda left the school and the town because of this teasing. Maddie decided that she would not stand silently when someone was making fun of others. She would speak up even she has to lose Peggy’s friendship. She would not make anybody unhappy. She had to think hard to do so because thinking of losing Peggy’s friendship was not an easy thing for Maddie.

Q. Why do you think Wanda gave Maddie and Peggy the drawings of the dresses? Why are they surprised? Ans.

Peggy, no doubt, used to make fun of Wanda by asking her how many dresses she had. Maddie didn’t like it, but she used to stand by silently. But when they learnt about her leaving the school and town, they felt very bad about it. When they did not find Wanda at Boggins Heights, they wrote a letter feeling sorry for hurting her feelings. That is why Wanda gave them the drawings of the dresses. Both Peggy and Maddie were surprised because they never expected such a gesture of goodwill from Wanda whom they had been teasing.

Q. Do you think Wanda really thought the girls were teasing her? Why or Why not?

Ans. Wanda really thought that the girls had been teasing her. However, she kept quiet and never protested against it. Had he not thought so, she would not have told her father about it and they would have decided to move to big city.

Q. Here are thirty adjectives describing human qualities. Discuss them with your partner and put them in the two word webs (given below) according to whether you think they show positive or negative qualities.

kind, sarcastic, courteous, arrogant, insipid, timid, placid, cruel, haughty, proud, zealous, intrepid, sensitive, compassionate, introverted, stolid, cheerful, contented, thoughtless, vain, friendly, unforgiving, fashionable, generous, talented, lonely, determined, creative, miserable, complacent


Positive: kind, courteous, placid, intrepid, sensitive, compassionate, cheerful, contented, friendly, fashionable, generous, talented, determined, creative,

Negative: sarcastic, arrogant, insipid, timid, cruel, haughty, zealous,introverted, stolid, thoughtless, vain, unforgiving, lonely, proud, miserable, complacent

Q. What adjectives can we use to describe Peggy, Wanda and Maddie? You can choose adjectives from the list above. You can also add some of your own.

  1. Peggy: Sarcastic, haughty, arrogant, fashionable, thoughtless, vain, popular.
  2. Wanda: Sensitive, placid, introvert, creative, timid, lonely, forgiving.
  3. Maddie: Friendly, kind, compassionate, courteous sensitive, determined.

Q. Find the sentences in the story with the following phrasal verbs.

lined up, thought up, took off, stood by


  1. All lined up in my closet.
  2. Peggy, who had thought up this game.
  3. Miss Mason took off her glasses.
  4. She had stood by silently.

Q. Find out what other prepositions can go with these verbs. What does each of these phrasal verbs mean?


  • line up — a group of people assembled for a particular purpose
  • think about — take into consideration
  • think of — consider the possibility of
  • think over — consider something carefully
  • take off — the action of becoming airborne
  • take on — to employ somebody
  • take over — assume control of or responsibility for
  • take after — resemble
  • stand for — be a symbol for
  • stand off — move or keep away

Q. Use at least five such phrasal verbs in sentences of your own.


  1. You should think about the problems that you are having with you business.
  2. The plane took off at 8 O’clock.
  3. Please think over before making any decision.
  4. They stand for the right things.

Q. Colours are used to describe feelings, moods and emotions. Match the following ‘colour expressions’ with a suggested paraphrase.

  1. the Monday morning blues — feel embarrassed/angry/ashamed
  2. go red in the face — feel very sick, as if about to vomit
  3. look green — sadness or depression after a weekend of fun
  4. the red carpet — the sign or permission to begin an action
  5. blue-blooded — a sign of surrender or acceptance of defeat; a wish to stop fighting.
  6. a green belt — in an unlawful act; while doing something wrong
  7. a black guard — a photographic print of building plans; a detailed plan or scheme
  8. a grey area — land around a town or city where construction is prohibited by law
  9. a white flag — an area of a subject or a situation where matters are not very clear
  10. a blueprint — a dishonest person with no sense of right or wrong
  11. red-handed — a special welcome
  12. the green light — of noble birth or from a royal family


  1. the Monday morning blues — sadness or depression after a weekend of fun
  2. go red in the face – feel embarrassed/angry/ashamed
  3. look green – feel very sick, as if about to vomit
  4. the red carpet – a special welcome
  5. blue-blooded – of noble birth or from a royal family
  6. a green belt – land around a town or city where construction is prohibited by law
  7. a black guard – a dishonest person with no sense of right or wrong
  8. a grey area – an area of a subject or a situation where matters are not very clear
  9. a white flag – a sign of surrender or acceptance of defeat; a wish to stop fighting.
  10. a blue print – a photographic print of building plans; a detailed plan or scheme
  11. red-handed – in an unlawful act; while doing something wrong
  12. the green light – the sign or permission to begin an action

Q. Look again at the letter which Wanda’s father writes to Miss Mason, Wanda’s teacher. Mr. Petronski is not quite aware how to write a formal letter in English. Can you rewrite it more appropriately? Discuss the following with your partner before you do so.

The format of a formal letter: How to begin the letter and how to end it; the language of the letter needs to be formal. (Avoid informal words like “holler” and fragments like “No more ask why funny name.”) Write complete sentences.


Woodland House
Boggins Heights

10 September 20××

Miss Mason
Modern Public School
8, Bridge Lane

Dear Miss Mason

I would like to bring to your notice that my daughter, Wanda Petronski, has complained to me that the children of your school keep on teasing her almost everyday.

They make fun of her long, unfamiliar name. They also make fun of her by asking as to how many dresses she has. You will agree with me that these things leave a bad impression on a young mind.

So it is with deep regret that I have to take my daughter out of your school. We are moving to Chicago where she will not have to face such problems.

Yours truly
Jan Petronski

Q. Imagine you are going to make a career out of your hobby. What sort of things will you need to learn? Write a paragraph or two on this topic after consulting an expert or doing reference work on your chosen area.

Ans. Every man chooses his hobby according to his taste. I would like to choose photography as my hobby. For this I will have to buy a good camera and undergo some training under the guidance of an expert photographer. Gradually, I shall like to make a career out of my hobby. I love to have snap-shots of places and persons, birds and animals and beautiful scenes of nature. Photography can show beautiful study of man and animal life and also nature. I shall send beautiful photographs to magazines. I shall make a display of my photographs in an art gallery. Magazines will pay me for my photographs. Nature lovers will buy photographs of the beautiful snap-shots of nature. Thus I shall make a career out of my hobby of photography.

Q. Rewrite a part of the story as if Wanda is telling us her own story.

Ans. I am a poor Polish girl. My forefathers emigrated to America long ago and settled near Chicago. My father started sending me to a school in our town. Here most of the students were Americans. I used to wear a faded blue dress in school. My house was situated out of the town. A muddy path led to the school from my house. So my feet were covered with mud and dust. Children in the school used to tease me. They made fun of my long, unfamiliar name. They asked me funny questions such as how many dresses I had. I was totally fed up with this teasing. I reported the matter to my father. He took me out of the school. Later we moved to Chicago where we thought I would not have to face problems of this kind.

Try aiPDF, our new AI assistant for students and researchers