Saturday, September 29, 2012
Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week, I'm going to share with you the second book in a series that I've come to adore!
Louise Lambert's best friend's thirteenth birthday party is fast approaching, so of course the most important question on her mind is, "What am I going to wear?!" Slipping on an exquisite robin's egg blue gown during another visit to the mysterious Traveling Fashionista Vintage Sale, Louise finds herself back in time once again, swept up in the glory of palace life, fancy parties, and enormous hair as a member of the court of France's most infamous queen, Marie Antoinette.
But between cute commoner boys and glamorous trips to Paris, life in the palace isn't all cake and couture. Can Louise keep her cool-and her head!-as she races against the clock to get home? -- Poppy Books
Last year, I reviewed THE TIME-TRAVELING FASHIONISTA (later titled THE TIME-TRAVELING FASHIONISTA ON BOARD THE TITANIC by Bianca Turetsky, and I absolutely loved it. This novel is geared towards tween girls and is part historical fiction, part time travel, and part fashion notebook. It is exactly the type of book I would have loved as a young girl.
Needless to say, I was extremely happy to see that the second book in this series THE TIME-TRAVELING FASHIONISTA AT THE PALACE OF MARIE ANTOINETTE (from now on to be known as TTTFATPOMA) was released earlier this month. Although my expectations were high based on how much I loved the first novel, I was not disappointed. In fact, in many ways, I enjoyed this book even more than the first one.
In TTTFATPOMA, Louise learns that the law firm her father works for is downsizing, and her dad is without his high-paying job. As if that's not bad enough, Louise's parents inform her that she can no longer go on the class trip with her French class to Paris. While Louise is feeling a little sorry for herself, she still manages to find some happiness in her love of vintage clothes. When she is once again invited to a Traveling Fashionista Vintage Sale, she hopes discover the perfect dress for her best friend's 13th birthday party. She finds a gorgeous blue gown (note the cover!), and when she tries it on, she is once again transported to another world. She awakes to find that she does indeed get to visit France -- only it's a gorgeous palace and she's part of Marie Antoinette's royal court in eighteen century France!
There are just so many things about TTTFATPOMA that make is a fun book for tween girls. First and foremost, I think the character of Louise is terrific. Girls (and especially Booking Daughter) can relate to Louise -- she is younger than her friends, less developed physically, has frizzy hair, dresses differently from everyone else, and still keeps her Barbie collection hidden in her closet! She is also worried about fitting in at school and she has to deal with crushes on boys. However, Louise also has the opportunity to live out her dreams in many ways. She gets to travel to exotic locations like the Titanic and Versailles, learn about the fashions of different time periods, and maybe even have the opportunity to change history!
Another great thing about TTTFATPOMA is that it has the most gorgeous drawings and descriptions of clothes. Sandra Suy is a fashion illustrator whose illustrations appear throughout the novel. I love her artwork -- it's just stunning! She has created the most beautiful dresses -- both present-day as well as during Marie Antoinette's time! The colorful pictures combined with all of the fashion terminology and names of designers is sure to capture any young fashionista's heart!
I also love that TTTFATPOMA is entertaining but also very educational. It's like historical fiction for the pre-teen crowd. Because Louise is studying Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution at school, the author manages to incorporate just enough history into the story to get readers intrigued. I also appreciate the Ms. Turetsky tied Louise's family's situation to the plight of the common people because it gave Louise some sympathy and compassion for them.
As a mom, I was so glad to see that the author included some educational resources in the back of the book for those readers who want to learn more. There is a timeline of Marie Antoinette's brief life as well as a list of books, movies and websites that will provide additional material about eighteenth-century France. On a personal note, Booking Daughter started asking me questions about Marie Antoinette and France when she was reading this novel; and she became very interested in the events surrounding the French Revolution!
And last but not least, I was impressed by how the author has left things open for future books. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but I can say that there were some unexpected turns as well as some major twists that will be sure to make the next book very interesting. I can't wait to see where Louise goes next and whom she will meet.
Overall, I am a huge fan of THE TIME-TRAVELING FASHIONISTA series and I highly recommend it to tween girls... and their moms!
Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book.
If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!