cover image Princess Says Goodnight

Princess Says Goodnight

Naomi Howland, illus. by David Small, Harper, $16.99 (32p) 978-0-06-145525-4

Princess wannabes will adore Howland's (Latkes, Latkes, Good to Eat) spirited heroine as she waltzes through bedtime imagining herself and her family in a royal palace. The story begins with illustrations of an ordinary, modern family, but when the redheaded girl sees herself in a hallway mirror, she is transformed into the princess she imagines herself to be. Her bookish brother becomes a jester, and her royal parents still take time to fluff her pillows and tuck her in. Like Fancy Nancy, Princess is drawn to frilliness (and "a every pretty shade of pink"), but Small's (Stitches) enchanting watercolors are comparatively subdued, in keeping with the bedtime mood. The rhymed text is a series of questions ("Will Princess hang her tiara/ on the bedpost overnight?/ Does she get a bedtime story/ before turning off the light?"), and the ending returns to the ordinary family home as Princess says, “Goodnight!” Sweet and disarmingly infectious without being cloying, this is a bedtime story full of joy and imagination. Ages 4-7. (May)