The Princess Gown


Princess Annabel is getting married. Tomorrow morning, the Queen will select the gown from among 40 wedding dresses offered as the dress. Hanna's father has made one of those dresses, and each of his children gets to help. As Hannah sews the last stitch, she finds a flaw in the material. Oh no! It will be the family's ruin. But Hannah knows something that no one else knows: Princess Annabel has a pet squirrel. She shares an idea with her grandmother, who immediately sets to work. Using her finest thread, she sews a squirrel in the fold of one side of the dress, and an acorn in another. The next day, the queen looked carefully at each dress. Her reaction confirmed the family's worst fears: this is ridiculous. Princess Annabel did not agree, but she must defer to her mother. Will the family be ruined?

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Children (especially young girls) will delight in this creative fairy tale that celebrates individuality, creativity, and taking chances.

Content Awareness Factors:

Absolutely none.

Little Kid Reaction

We thought our daughter would cave under the suspense (and we weren't reading that slow). She loves all things princesses, and a princess who loves animals is even better! After reading the story, she wanted to go back and explore the pictures. She spent lots of time looking at each of the women in the last spread, trying to find the unique element to each of their gowns.

Parent Reaction

This has all of the elements of a classic fairy tale, with a wonderful twist that makes it a unique story. The details in the writing are mirrored in the illustrations. Together, they add a dimension to the fabric of the story (pun intended). Hanna is such an important character, not because she had an idea, but because an adult listened to her. I love that there are no princes involved!

Type of Book:
This is a fairy tale with a fresh storyline and new twist.
Educational Themes:

This is a story meant to be shared. There are themes of trust, faith, perseverance, risk, creativity, individuality, and optimism (seeing the glass as half full). The gown's mistake also gives you a chance to talk about creative problem solving. Bring the story to life by learning more about dressmaking or embroidery.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
8 to 10
Recommended Age To Read Together:
4 to 8
Age of child:
Read with a seven-year-old girl.
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. This is destined to be read and re-read. It is a story you will read with your grandchildren.

Title The Princess Gown
Author Linda Leopold Strauss
Publisher HMH Books for Young Readers © 2008
Illustrators Malene Reynolds Laugesen
ISBN 9780618862597
Material Hard Cover
Cost $16.00
Genres Family, Fairy Tale
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