Reviewing THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER by Jen Wang -- soon to be a movie musical from Robert Lopez & Kristen Anderson-Lopez!

Over the weekend, Playbill broke the news that the critically acclaimed graphic novel THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER by Jen Wang will be the next project for husband-wife team Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who previously worked together on the music for Disney's Frozen, Coco, and Frozen 2. Robert is a two-time EGOT winner -- he is the youngest to win the award, to have won it in the shortest amount of time, and to have won it more than once. He broke out with his work co-writing Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon.

The duo are now working on a new movie musical alongside Amy Herzog, who was a Pulitzer Prize for Drama finalist in 2013 for her play 4,000 Miles. They are also working with producing behemoth Marc Platt, who has done movie musicals such as Mary Poppins Returns, Rent Live! and Disney's live-action Aladdin. Platt is currently working with Disney to adapt The Little Mermaid as a live-action film and to bring Dear Evan Hansen, in which his son Ben Platt originated the Tony winning title role, to the big screen.

I read a really early copy before the book published and did a pre-publication interview with author/illustrator Jen Wang during my co-hosted Magic, Myth, & Mischief event because I couldn't contain my excitement.

Today, to piggy-back on the exciting movie news for anyone interested in learning more about the book, you've come to the right place!


How can you be yourself in a world where expectations rest squarely on your shoulders? When you're Prince of the Realm, you don't get to live your own life. You must think about your kingdom and what they need as well as yourself. But tampering the magic that makes you you is also destructive. Prince Sebastian knows he'll be mocked and ridiculed if he gives in to his love of dresses and the way he feels himself in them, but he isn't daring enough to go out in public until he finds the answer to his conundrum in a talented dressmaker named Frances. Together, they take the kingdom by storm and create a new fashion icon, but they're in hiding and secrets always have a way of bubbling over...

The graphic novel has the feel of a fairy tale while being its own original story. It's about a prince who loves to wear dresses, even though he has to do secretly, and the dressmaker who keeps his secret. The two become fast friends, and the story has so many awesome feels, and I JUST CAN'T. Plus, spoilers!

It's actually really hard to talk about this one, especially since some of the bits that resonate most come at the end, but this is such a moving story. It's an important one, too, and the fact that a movie is being made and that Sebastian is going to be a role model for children everywhere and celebrate going against the odds to be yourself and live your best life is an occurrence that wouldn't have happened even five years ago. That it can happen now is a huge sign of progress, and we need more stories like this one to share with today's youth.

I've read THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER multiple times since its publication, and it still gives me just as many feels with each new read. I know this is a a short, not super-informative review, but again, spoilers. I highly recommend going into this one blind; you'll fall in love with the characters and be rooting for them to embrace their dreams and somehow make it work!

Do yourself a favor and pick up THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER this weekend. Pick up a copy for yourself, and another to give as a gift. Spread the word about the upcoming movie musical and lets generate some early buzz to propel it to completion, because this story deserves to be told, and this project is an exciting way to share it!

A modified version of this post first appeared on A Backwards Story on February 13, 2018.


Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: G ( Kissing )
Language: --
Violence: --
Other:  --
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I really like how you have all the major players on this cover. 

It shows the relationship between Prince Sebastian and his dressmaker Frances as well as gives you a sneak peek at Lady Crystallia!

I also really adore the title treatment, from the "regalness" of the PRINCE to the thread-like  texture of the DRESSMAKER!

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Jen Wang
Release Date: February 13, 2018
Publisher: First Second Books / Macmillan


Paris, at the dawn of the modern age: 

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.