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The Prince and the Dressmaker
Cover of The Prince and the Dressmaker
The Prince and the Dressmaker
by Jen Wang

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.

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.

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  • OverDrive Read
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  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    3.0
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    MG+
  • Text Difficulty:
    K - 2

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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Jen Wang is a cartoonist, author and illustrator living in Los Angeles. She is the author of The Prince and the Dressmaker, Koko Be Good, and co-author of the New York Times Bestselling graphic novel In Real Life with Cory Doctorow. Her work has also appeared in Los Angeles Magazine, The Believer, Hazlitt, Slate, and McSweeney's. She has also written for the Adventure Time and Lumberjanes comic series. She is the co-founder and organizer of the annual festival Comics Arts Los Angeles.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from December 11, 2017
    A talented seamstress and a prince with a secret will win readers’ hearts in Wang’s utterly charming graphic novel, which is set in a playfully tweaked version of 19th-century Paris and highlights identity, acceptance, and fashion. After creating a scandalous dress for an attendee of Prince Sebastian’s 16th birthday party, Frances—an overlooked seamstress with big dreams—accepts a position as personal seamstress for a mystery client. She soon discovers that her employer is none other than Prince Sebastian, who wants her to create dazzling gowns for Lady Crystallia, Sebastian’s alter ego, who quickly becomes a fashion icon. Despite Frances’s connection with Sebastian, she worries that being part of the prince’s secret is limiting her dreams of finding success as a designer. The relationship between Frances and Sebastian—both as a conflicted prince and the glamorous Crystallia—glows; Frances understands that Sebastian and Crystallia are two halves of a brilliant whole. “It’s weird, I don’t feel like Prince Sebastian could lead a nation into battle, but Lady Crystallia could,” admits the prince, inspiring Frances to create an armor-themed dress for their next midnight escapade. Frances’s daring designs shine in Wang’s elegantly drafted and gorgeously colored illustrations, and the irreverently anachronistic approach to the setting provides a lovely and humorous counterbalance to the seriousness of the prince’s situation (“Prepare to get your lady groove on,” insists the burly, bearded king, who is eager for Sebastian to be betrothed). It’s all but certain to deliver grins, gasps, and some happy tears. Ages 12–up. Agent: Judith Hansen, Hansen Literary.

  • DOGO Books iamthecoolkids - This is a story about a prince and a dressmaker, things aren't exactly what they seem. Between teenage troubles, fancy parties, and even fancier people, friends learn to stick together.
  • Booklist

    Starred review from January 1, 2018
    Grades 7-12 *Starred Review* Frances, a seamstress living in Paris at the turn of the century, causes quite a stir when she designs a daring, avant-garde ballgown for a count's daughter, who blithely asks to be dressed like the devil's wench. Though the countess is displeased, her daughter is enchanted, and so is the crown prince, Sebastian, who immediately hires Frances with an unusual request: he wants her to make him a wardrobe of bold, glamorous gowns. Secrecy, of course, is paramount, but Frances loves having the freedom to design the dresses of her dreams, which are making quite a name for the prince's au courant alter ego, Lady Crystallia. Wang's buoyant, richly colored artwork beautifully envisions Frances' designs against an already captivating background. It's not that the de rigueur fashions are ugly or boringrather, everything is beautifulbut Frances' ensembles stand out stunningly. As Lady Crystallia gains notoriety, and Frances gets closer to meeting her idol, a designer of ballet costumes, elements of Frances' designs trickle subtly into the wider fashion world. But fame brings attention, and Seb's worries about being exposed surpass his loyalty to his friend. Though the conclusion is perhaps too rosy given the suggested time period, that's an easy quibble to forgive, thanks to the gorgeously dense artwork, lively sense of movement, effervescent fashions, sweet romance, and heartwarming denouement.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

  • New York Times "There is so much love in Wang's illustrations, which are perfectly suited to the fairy tale nature of the book...it's completely satisfying. In modern fairy tales, there really are happy endings."
  • Nerdist "A unique and thoroughly modern fairy tale. . . . a great story about being true to yourself and the kind of companionship you can find when you do."
  • Horn Book, starred review "This graphic novel has all the trappings of a rags-to-riches romance. And it is one--in a joyfully subversive and inclusive way."
  • Publisher Weekly, starred review "It's all but certain to deliver grins, gasps, and some happy tears."
  • VOYA "A visual feast, filled with exuberant charm and delightful characters."
  • The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

    "For kids who never found a Disney princess costume to fit--literally or figuratively--Wang offers a second chance to claim a fairy tale of one's own. Readers new, or resistant, to graphic novels will also discover magic here in Wang's visual storytelling."
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    First Second
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