Princess Says Goodnight

ISBN 0-06-145525-4


When a little girl gets ready for bed her family treats her like the royalty she thinks she is. David Small’s illustrations perfectly capture the business and exceptional treatment of Princess’ bedtime ritual from a crème filled éclair to polished glass slippers to the final kiss goodnight.

The idea for this story began as I wondered what one did with one’s crown at the end of a long day—hang it up? Or wear it to bed? And what sorts of treats might a princess enjoy or require before saying goodnight? David Small turned the story of a make-believe princess into a real little girl with regal fantasies and a family who is willing to play along for the fun.

This is the first time I have written a story that has been illustrated by another artist. I was so pleased with the way David interpreted my story. He drew things I never would have thought of—the bath tub alone is too perfect and fancy for words!


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.
—Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review May 3, 2010