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.
Review: This book is so important. Not only does it give the message that boys’ wearing dresses is okay, but it has a positive outcome. Sebastian’s family and friends accept him. Peter, the son of the belligerent department store owner, accept him. Some people run away from him because they are afraid of the unknown; others mock him for the same reason. But the overarching message of this book is acceptance. Not merely tolerance, but acceptance. And love.
I loved the artwork, as well. I liked the roundness of the drawings, and the colors are pretty and nice to look at. I really liked how Wang included an inside look at how she writes and designs at the end of the book. I found that interesting.
- Frances: “Why do you wear girl clothes?”
Sebastian: “I don’t know. Some days I look at myself in the mirror and think, ‘That’s me, Prince Sebastian! I wear boy clothes and look like my father.’ Other days it doesn’t feel right at all. Those days I feel like I’m actually…a princess.” (44)
- “My whole life is other people deciding what’s acceptable. When I put on a dress, I get to decide what’s silly.” (47)
- “When I first learned the truth, I thought Sebastian’s life would be ruined. But seeing you, I realized everything would be fine. Because someone still loved him.” (263)