Friday, February 20, 2009

Princess Bess Gets Dressed by Margery Cuyler Illustrated by Heather Maione

The cover alone of Princess Bess Gets Dressed is enough to attract a whole herd of little girls: a princess, lots of pink, and sparkling with glitter. Here is a delightful story in rhyme about a princess' busy day. Cuyler takes us through Bess' many activities and responsibilities, describing all the different wardrobe changes a princess must endure. We learn at the beginning that Bess' favorite thing to wear is a "secret I can't share." That little bit of foreshadowing adds some intrigue that is finally answered in the end. I like the fact that the author does not focus soley on the clothing. Each change of fancy lacey dresses is in conjunctin with an activity, such as dancing, painting, or lunching, and Bess is always engaged with other people in a positive manner. We are exposed to some wonderful clothing vocabulary words; pantaloons, frock, muslin, shawl. Bess is a dutiful princess, never complaining about her royal duties. At the end of the day, we finally get to find out what Bess likes to wear best. And I couldn't agree with her more! Look for Princess Bess Gets Dressed in Picture Books under Cuyler.

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