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Princess Bess Gets Dressed

Simon and Schuster
Ill. by Heather Maione

Princess Bess Gets Dressed

(Hardcover ISBN 9781416938330)

A fashionably dressed princess changes her clothes all day to suit her different duties, and before going to bed, she reveals her favorite outfit.


While most young girls dream of dressing up in all the opulent finery of a princess, little Bess knows all too well that scads of bows, ruffles, buttons, and lace can become a bit tiresome. From dining with the king and queen to ballet and art lessons to hobnobbing with nobility, the ginger-haired princess spends her overscheduled days changing from one fancy frock to the next as she attends to an endless parade of royal duties. Cuyler’s buoyant rhyming text relates the busy day’s activities and contains lots of fun, fashiony detail. Maione’s charming, candy-colored ink-and-watercolor illustrations depict Bess’ ornate ensembles and the lavish palace surroundings, and the antics of the princess’ canine companion add an additional level of gentle humor to the whimsical scenes. At day’s end, Bess retires to her bedroom, where she can finally change into the clothes she secretly loves best—plain, white underwear. – Booklist

Deftly crafted rhymes describe the saucy young princess and the “loads of clothes” that she must change during the day. What she prefers to wear remains her secret to the end. Her schedule is a busy one, beginning with morning muffins with the queen and proceeding to art and dancing lessons, luncheon, games, afternoon tea, and supper, climaxing with a fancy ball. And the princess has the perfectly appropriate apparel for each occasion. Young girls should relish every detail. The sketchy ink and watercolor drawings barely touch the surface of the white pages in this airy, fanciful tale of a princess’s daily activities. Humor dominates; the princess’s dog, unmentioned in the text, participates in all of the actions with gusto. Lots of glitter on the jacket should add appeal. – Children’s Literature

A stylish young princess, weary of dressing à la mode, yearns for her favorite outfit. In jaunty rhyming couplets, Cuyler describes Bess's extravagant array of trappings. From the moment she awakens until she retires for the evening, this fashionable young princess has an outfit for every conceivable occasion. Breakfast with the queen requires nothing less than velveteen while lunch with the prince finds Bess resplendent in chintz (pantaloons). The playful rhymes detailing fanciful costumes continue until Bess reveals her attire of choice. Maione's ink-and-watercolor illustrations depict a lavishly outfitted tot with a cascade of red curls. Her imaginative confections will satisfy even the most ardent of princess devotees. Comical details, such as the inclusion of Bess's mischievous pup in every vignette and the princess's recalcitrant expressions as she is bedecked and beribboned, keep the story from becoming cloying. A good choice for budding princesses both starry-eyed and sassy. – Kirkus Reviews

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