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by Selina Alko & illustrated by Selina Alko

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-375-86092-8
Publisher: Knopf

A little girl’s mom leads her from princess dress-up to real women in a brief tale that does not let its earnestness get in the way of the fun.

Some of the language is a bit awkward (“spinning like a diamond”? “a daring new dame”?), and the gouache-and-collage images, with their rubbery facial expressions and flattened perspectives, share that clumsiness. It’s hard not to cheer, however, when on Monday the unnamed little girl puts on goggles like Amelia Earhart, on Tuesday sings like Ella (Fitzgerald), on Wednesday is Elizabeth the Super Suffragist and continues through the week with Scientist Marie (Curie), chef Julia (Child), ballerina Maria (Tallchief) and artist Frida (Kahlo). She ends hoping little girls will dress up like her someday. All this playacting is performed to an appreciative audience of friends and toys. The colors are bright and the textures amusing (Julia’s fish is made of newsprint with a recipe for Hot Tuna Loaf Sandwich). It is good to see that ethnicity plays no part in whom the protagonist chooses to emulate. Biographies of the women named (each only a few sentences long) and a rather odd bibliography of picture books—and Mastering the Art of French Cooking—conclude the text. Inspired little girls may be unhappy to see that the paper doll and outfits on the endpapers are pasted down, though.

In all, another happy antidote to the princess plague. (Picture book. 5-8)