Saturday, December 7, 2013

Kid Konnection: The Time-Traveling Fashionista and Cleopatra

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 third book in a series that I just love.

Summary: Walk, talk, and dress like an Egyptian. When Louise Lambert tries on a lavender Grecian gown during a visit to the mysterious Traveling Fashionista Vintage Sale, she feels a familiar tug and falls back in time, arriving at the dusty base of an enormous pyramid. She has landed in ancient Egypt...or has she?

It turns out that Louise is on the legendary Old Hollywood film set of Cleopatra, but her time there is short-lived. Rummaging through the wardrobe tent, Louise gets her hands on a pearl necklace that dates back to 51 BC, and she suddenly finds herself whisked away once more, this time to the ancient city of Alexandria, Egypt. Gold and jewels shimmer in the Egyptian sunlight, but poisonous snakes and dangerous enemies also roam the palace halls. Louise quickly learns that life as a handmaiden to Queen Cleopatra is much more treacherous--and fashionable--than she ever could have imagined. -- Poppy

Just this week, THE TIME-TRAVELING FASHIONISTA AND CLEOPATRA, QUEEN OF THE NILE by Bianca Turetsky was released. This is the third book in the Time-Traveling Fashionista series, and Booking Daughter and I are both big fans of these books. So when I was asked to participate in a blog tour for the book, I immediately jumped at the chance.

In THE TIME-TRAVELING FASHIONISTA AND CLEOPATRA, QUEEN OF THE NILE, Louise finds herself transported to two different places and times; and she even has the opportunity to meet a young Cleopatra!

I really enjoyed this novel (and so did Booking Daughter!) I was thrilled that Louise visited both Hollywood and ancient Egypt because I find both of these times and locations to be fascinating. Once again, Louise gets herself into a bit of trouble and has to find a way to save the day while also getting back to the present.

I'm not entirely sure what I enjoy more about these books -- the tales of Louise's travel, the historical lessons that are thrown in, or the gorgeous color illustrations of the past and present-day fashion by Sandra Suy. Truly, I think the books in this series are the perfect blend of facts and fiction as well as the present and the past. And I really can't stress just how gorgeous all of the sketches are!

There is no doubt that the main premise of THE TIME-TRAVELING FASHIONISTA AND CLEOPATRA, QUEEN OF THE NILE is Louise's visits to the past; however, there are some interesting secondary plots in this novel.  Louise is a realistic pre-teen girl (except for the time travel!) who is facing the very same issues that tweens everywhere face. She feels awkward in her body and isn't at all confident about her appearance. In addition, her best friend now has a boyfriend, and Louise is feeling that they aren't as close as they used to be.

What I appreciated about THE TIME-TRAVELING FASHIONISTA AND CLEOPATRA, QUEEN OF THE NILE is that Louise not only learns about the past through her travels, she also learns some valuable things about herself. Through Cleopatra's actions, she learns the importance of self-confidence. In addition, she realizes that people and friendships can change. As a mom, I especially enjoyed the positive messages for young girls that appeared in the story!

As part of the blog tour for THE TIME-TRAVELING FASHIONISTA AND CLEOPATRA, QUEEN OF THE NILE, I was granted permission to print an excerpt from the novel. This scene takes place immediately after Louise is transported to ancient Egypt!

When Louise awoke, she had a sinking feeling she wasn’t in Hollywood anymore. She screamed. She was nose-to-nose with an intense-looking teenage girl who had tan olive skin, dark kohl eye makeup extending out past her brown almond-shaped eyes, a large hook nose, a thick neck, and a rather prominent chin.

“I didn’t mean to startle you,” the girl said tersely. She had a thick white ribbon tied around her head, and her dark waves were held back in a low bun with some escaped little frizzies framing her face, much like Louise’s own typical hairstyle. Her hair was a deep brown but with a reddish tint, as if she had used henna to color it.

“Oh, good, Charmian, you found it!” the girl continued. “Quickly, give it to me! I need to get back to my studies. An important Roman general is coming to the palace for dinner soon, and I have an idea I need your help with.” When the girl spoke, Louise caught a glimpse of her crooked yellowish teeth. Where she was now, they clearly didn’t have orthodontists. “Ummm…g-give what?” Louise stuttered, confused.

“Why, the pearl necklace I asked you to find, of course,” the girl explained impatiently as she yanked a thin chain from around Louise’s neck. Ouch! It was the same pearl necklace she had tried on from the trunk on the film set. Oh, why did she decide to take that necklace? She had finally found her dream job, was working for a famous costume designer alongside a Hollywood acting legend, and then she had to go and poke around in a trunk that specifically warned her against poking around. From experience, Louise knew she was going to need to keep an eye on that pearl necklace if she wanted any chance of making it home. But who was this girl? By the demanding tone of her voice, Louise had a feeling she had another boss to contend with. A boss who had just taken the iridescent pearl and gold chain—Louise’s ticket home—and dropped it into her satchel before hurrying out of the room with a scarlet red silk cape trailing dramatically behind her. (65-66)

In addition to this excerpt from THE TIME-TRAVELING FASHIONISTA AND CLEOPATRA, QUEEN OF THE NILE, I wanted to share with you the very fun website for the series. You will find descriptions for all three books in the series plus images from the clothes in Louise's closet. You can even take a Fashionista quiz!

I just adore the Time-Traveling Fashionista series and I think young girls will agree. Highly recommended for fashionistas and fans of historical fiction.

Thanks to Lucinda Literary and the publisher for a review copy of this novel.

Bianca Turetsky is the author of the stylish Time-Traveling Fashionista series, which has been translated into nine languages. After graduating from Tufts University, Bianca began working for artist/filmmaker Julian Schnabel. She managed his studio for the past 11 years and was his assistant on the Academy Award-nominated film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. She lives in a cozy studio apartment in Brooklyn, New York, that houses her very extensive and much-loved vintage collection. The third book in the series, The Time-Traveling Fashionista and Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile was released on December 3, 2013.

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!


Beth F said...

I know I'd love these -- I have a thing for time travel books and this series looks like a lot of fun.

Suko said...

This sounds like a gorgeous book in many ways! The title is wonderful, and the book sounds educational and fun. I enjoyed your review today, and am happily participating in Kid Konnection as well--thanks for hosting this feature! :)

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

That does sound like a fun read!

Elizabeth said...

This sounds like a series to keep on my radar when my kids get just a bit older - I love books I can share with them that we will all enjoy.

Laura at Library of Clean Reads said...

I really must get this series for my daughter. She likes time travel books AND she's a fashionista! It's a perfect combination.

bermudaonion said...

I remember how much you've enjoyed other books in this series. I'm glad this one lived up to those!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.