Seven princesses are inseparable until “the biggest fight in the entire history of princess fighting” leaves them all sulking in separate towers.
Though Coh’s claim that the princesses “could not have been more different” is an overstatement, she does give them a range of clothing styles, skin hues (their royal mom has darker skin than their ginger-haired, white dad), and individual interests. The eldest, Rosamund, loves “math and building,” for instance, while Indigo is a swimmer, and little Violet is into “basically anything involving the arts.” They live in a pointy-roofed castle set amid trees that look like bunches of balloons—until the fight, after which the colors drain away to a few pale highlights on dull beige, and the entire land is left in barren, dreary silence. Finally, one “extra gray day,” Violet finds an old crayon drawing of all seven smiling together, and as it makes each princess recall happier times, the illustrations brighten again. By the end, the royal clan harmoniously gathers for a new family portrait (with lots of flowers and kittens underfoot for extra cuteness). Neither the touchstone drawing nor the cascade of minor complaints that caused the spat is particularly memorable; it’s the story’s overall arc and the herd of wide-eyed, expressively posed, doll-like princesses that will likely make the stronger impressions on young readers.
Sibling feuds are seldom so tidily resolved, but rarely has the suggestion been so prettily made that they could be. (Picture book. 6-8)