The Princess Gown by Linda Leopold Strauss, illustrated by Malene Reynolds Laugesen. Houghton Mifflin (September 2008); ISBN 9780618862597; 32 pages
Book Source: Copy from public library
"So what do you think, my Hanna?" asked Papa as he sewed a pearl to the bodice of the wedding dress. "Will the princess like it?"
Much work goes into designing and sewing a wedding dress, especially a wedding dress fit for a princess. As Princess Annabel's wedding approaches all the tailors in the kingdom design elaborate wedding dresses in hopes of becoming the official Embroiderer to the Princess. A little girl named Hanna excitedly watches as her papa lovingly pieces together a beautiful and elaborate dress. All the members of the Abraham family, including each of the children, put a stitch into the dress. When it's Hanna's turn to stitch she notices a small smudge on the skirt. Shaken, the family frets about how to fix the small flaw. Little Hanna offers a very creative solution involving an embroidered squirrel, but will the princess approve?
This book has all the markings of a lovely, old-fashioned fairy tale, but surprisingly it is partially based on fact. According to a statement on the author's website, "This picture book, with lavish illustrations by Malene Laugesen, got its start in the author’s family history, where in Victorian England, her husband’s great great great grandfather was Embroiderer to the Queen." The Princess Gown is a fascinating read, especially as rumors swirl as to the identity of Kate Middleton's own wedding dress designer. The Victorian styled hoop dresses portrayed in the book are truly exquisite! My daughter studied Laugesen's oil crayon and linseed oil illustrations with intensity. The dresses on the last pages remind me of Tiffany lamps with their intricate, nature inspired designs. I so want one of those owl tree dresses! If there's a princess or fashion lover in your family, I highly recommend this book.
Linda Leopold Strauss Website
Disney Family.com offers a handy and free Princess Kate Paper Doll printable[pdf]. It includes a few dresses, but I thought my daughter would have more fun designing her own special wedding dress for Princess Kate.
We printed off a copy of the doll onto cardstock, and I traced the upper part of her body onto printer paper so that my daughter could design a dress to fit the doll. She decided on the shape of the dress and added several details including, according to her, a "flower petal pattern" on the bottom. After she finished her design, she used some glitter paint to make the dress shimmer. My son saw the project and wanted to participate so he colored one of the printable dresses. I'm sure both these designs would look lovely on Princess Kate. We're looking forward to seeing pictures of her actual dress tomorrow!
A Mommy's Adventures hosts the "stART" meme (Story + Art) each week. Add your kids craft post to the Kid's Get Crafty linky at Red Ted Art's Blog. Join in Read Aloud Thursday at Hope is the Word. Show off your ideas at ABC & 123 Show and Tell. Wrote a post about play? Join the It's Playtime party! Find more great book tie-ins at JDaniel4's Mom Read, Explore, Learn link-up.
I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)