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The Prince and the Dressmaker

By Jen Wang
Publisher: First Second Books (Roaring Brook Press) Copyright Year: 2018 ISBN/ISSN: 9781626723634

Review

This uplifting graphic novel has the high-quality look of a classic Disney fairy tale but with modern dialogue and issues. Belgian prince Sebastian makes news when he visits family in Paris, but he doesn't feel quite like himself until he hires talented seamstress Frances to secretly make him some beautiful dresses. She is shocked at first, but working for a prince could help her fulfill her dream of being a famous designer. She accepts and helps him create an alter-ego called Lady Crystallia. Themes of identity and self-discovery make this coming-of-age story relatable for all readers. In Frances' whimsical designs, Sebastian (as Crystallia) becomes a fashion icon in Paris. They become close friends, but Frances eventually realizes that she can't get the recognition she deserves if she stays with Sebastian. They both despair at losing one another, and when Crystallia's identity is accidentally discovered, Frances is the one who convinces the king that Sebastian is perfect the way he is. Learning to accept others' differences is a subtle but important lesson for young readers. The full-color illustrations showcase the fashions and settings as well as move the story along quickly. For aspiring authors/illustrators, Jen Wang includes a brief, informative section called "My Process" at the end to show how she developed the story from script form to finished product.

Reviewer: Tara J. Williams
Rating: Highly Recommended
Grade (as stated by Reviewer/SLC): 6-12
Review Date: April 1, 2018

Product Description

Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride?or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia?the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian's secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances?one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone's secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.

This title has Common Core connections.

Media Type Book, eBook
Binding PPBK
# Pages 288
Price 24.99
Grade (as stated by Reviewer/SLC) 6-12
Genre Fiction
Sub-Genre Comic & Graphic Novels
Content Subject 1 Personal Development/Personal Problems
Content Subject 2 Other Times & Other Places
Time Period NA
Region Europe
Story: Character Centered
Characters/Characterization: Vivid/Well Developed
Language: Engaging
Tone/Mood Hopeful
Pace: Lively/Fast
Setting: Historical
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Entry ID: 2144040