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The Very Little Princess

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3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  106 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Regina is only 3-1/4 inches tall, but she knows from the moment she wakes up in her dollhouse bed that she is a princess. Why else would she have such a lovely pink gown? Why else would she have such golden hair and flawless skin? And why else would she have a four-foot, curly-haired human creature to wait on her? Meanwhile Zoey, that four-foot, curly-haired creature, has ...more
Hardcover, 122 pages
Published February 23rd 2010 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published February 5th 2010)
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Newbery 2011
134th out of 147 books — 494 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 240)
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Cheryl
Hm. Don't read any of the other reviews. Most of them have spoilers, and part of the beauty of this book is that we figure things out at about the same pace that the child does.

Ok, one thing to say is that there's now an The Indian in the Cupboard for little girls. Another thing is that when this was recommended to me I assumed it was rec's as a simple & sweet little bit of nostalgia, not realizing that it's from 2010. Also, it's very short, but there's also a very intense and modern messag
...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
The jury in my head is still out on this one. It's a very modern fairy tale. Yes, it's rooted in the doll stories of Rumer Godden and Frances Hodgson Burnett, whose heroines believed that dolls can talk (by thinking or "wishing") and possibly move about when humans aren't around. But this is a new take on how dolls and people think, communicate, and feel--or learn to feel.
Zoey visits the grandmother she never knew she had, and finds her mother's old bedroom, complete with the perfect princess do
...more
Elizabeth L.
I am currently reading the book The Very Little Princess By : Marion Dane Bauer. This book is about a girl named Zoey and the minute she woke up they knew she was a princess, but not a very big princess, in fact she was only three and one quarter inches tall. They knew she was a princess because why else would she be wearing a pink gown? Her eyes were blue and her hair was spun gold. Zoey lived with only her mother. She had no family at all just her and her mom, well that is what she thought and ...more
Lili Martin
This book is amazing. My favorite part about it was when Princess Regina and Zoey found Princess Regina's throne room. It was really green and the only thing in that room was a throne. Nothing else. I think this book would be good to recommend to girls who like The Great Turkey Walk. It's like The Great Turkey walk because Zoey was trying to figure out who her grandmother really was. To here more don't come to me. Read the BOOK!!!
Jen
Ok, if you are thinking that this is a cute story about a girl and a tiny princess, it is. However, it is more about a 10 year old girl meeting her estranged grandmother for the first time, and then being abandoned there by her manic depressive mother. Um, EEEEK!?! So, glad I read it first before recommending it to my 9 year old niece.
S.
I won this from Firstreads. It's a lovely story of a young girl and a three inch doll who comes to life, something most little girls dream about and believe in.
Bookslut
This is horrendous. It is short, but digs deep and finds a way to drag anyway. And...what trumps the pace problem immeasurably...the girl is abandoned by her mother with no warning. I, as an adult, did not even see it coming. The mom is great, the mom is fun, the mom is affectionate, and then BANGO! we're leaving you with Grandma forever. My daughter cried actual tears when the sh*t went down. I can't imagine why the publishing company did not leave a little cookie mention of that in the synopsi ...more
Kelli
A good quick read. Brings up some dark issues like depression and abandonment and family ties. Not just a story about a little girl and a princess doll. By the description I was unprepared as I was reading it out loud to my five year old daughter. I would probably have waited a year or so had I known. So far it has turned out okay but I expect more questions down the road. The writing style is cute and whimsical and the premise is sweet on the surface. My daughter loved it until it began to go d ...more
Michelle
A short chapter book with a powerful story
Josiah
The Very Little Princess is a slight book, and looks simple enough from the outside, but in truth deals with some pretty tough issues. Marion Dane Bauer is one of the best I've ever seen at writing about these kinds of family troubles (see her Newbery Honor-winning On My Honor as exhibit A), and The Very Little Princess doesn't shy away from facing its characters' problems in a direct and unglamorized fashion.

Zoey, a fairly normal girl who lives with only her mother in an existence that can ge
...more
The Winter Rose
This is a quick, simple read for young readers. Finished it within an hour on a train ride.

It's a cute concept which deals with the theme of loniless and friendship. However, I found it a tad harsh for young readers. It was very jarring, to me, that Zoey's mother simply leaves her at her grandmother's house. I wish more had been explained about the background between the mother and grandmother and also the reason as to why her mother was leaving Zoey with her grandmother. I think this might upse
...more
Xemilyx
I read this book too quickly, so I don't know if I really felt complete at the end. It's a bit of a disturbing story, in which a little girl's mother surprises her one day by taking her to visit her grandmother. This is surprising, because Zoey didn't know she had a grandmother. As the novel continues, the reader understands that Zoey's mother is a bit off, and not in a cute kids book way. She sometimes goes to bed for days and just doesn't take care of Zoey.

But I haven't even mentioned the mos
...more
Heidi
This is no ordinary fairy tale princess story. I cannot remember last when a children's book touched me so deeply. I read this at the same time as my precocious 7 year-old daughter, who read independently at night while I read ahead during the day.. We read the last 3 chapters together out loud except for in places where my own emotional response made it too difficult to read it aloud... To her, and then she read it to me. My tears elicited a heartfelt showing of sympathy from my daughter, an ex ...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I have very mixed feelings about this. Basic premise: little girl's tiny toy doll comes alive. This doll has also been her mother's toy, and her grandmother's. Zoey is meeting her grandmother for the first time in this book. And her mother hasn't seen her grandmother for 10 years. Grandma Hazel is understandably ... let's go with stunned ... when her daughter shows up at her door with Zoey in tow. So ma and grandma are arguing, but this is mostly backgrounded, and Zoey is getting to know her tal ...more
Alyssa Rokke
grew up reading this book. About a little girl who was put in an ophanage after living a life of luxary after her father passed away. Gets adopted by another family member. Her father ends up not being dead and they are reunited and live together again. She shows the struggles for hunger and how it is to be alone in an orphanage.
Melissa
Unanswered questions I had while reading the book:

What makes the doll come to life?

Why would Hazel give the doll to Sam?

What ever happened between Sam and his friend?

Why wouldn’t Regina wake up again for Sam or Rose? Was it because she had fulfilled her purpose of making them friends?

Did Hazel have an adventure with this doll?

How many generations has Ragina been around for?

Is the author foreshadowing an up and coming book about Zoey’s adventures with Regina?
Kari
Marion is a master. The story can be read on two levels, one light and one serious. She doesn't allow sentimentality to distort truth and weaves the threads of the story so subtly. Just wonderful. The Horn Book writes: "The direct address of the reader by the narrator adds an imtimacy that young readers will enjoy and helps insure that the serious undertone does not overwhelm the story". The Horn Book reviewer understood what Marion accomplished with the use of direct address.
Polly
Sweet little book (very little--took about 20 minutes to read, and that ways with a cooking break) about a conceited little doll and a lonely girl, but in a somewhat less obvious than that sounds way. I am a little unsure of who it's meant for. Princess dolls and broken homes are not on exactly the same emotional level, and I have a feeling that a lot of the girls old enough to understand the latter part are a little old for the former. But maybe I'm wrong.
Sarah
This is a cute little book that attempts to deal with weighty issues in a very small space. Because of the short space, this book seems to have too much tell and not enough show. I like the story about the doll and the girl, but felt that the parts with her mother and grandmother were too big and too complex to fit with the rest of the tale. I think it would work for a 2nd or 1st grade read aloud if not for the parts about the mother leaving her daughter.
Betsy Brainerd
Considering this story is written for a younger crowd (6-9?), I wondered why it was necessary to add in such mature family issues. Juxtaposed with a princess doll coming to life (could be cool),I found that a bit jarring. So I agree with another reviewer who thinks it would be well-suited to a reader experiencing difficulties in life. It's definitely a little more than many would bargain for based on the title.
Camille
Bauer takes a "doll comes to life" story and layers it with the story of a little girl who has been abandoned by her mother and left with her grandmother. I really appreciated that Bauer made no attempt to justify or put a spin on the child's mother. Ultimately, the reader appreciates that the child is safe and better off with her grandmother. The friendship of the doll will help too.
Connie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Colleen
My 5 year old was entranced by the idea of a doll that secretly comes to life. There are some difficult topics woven into the story though, such as an unstable mother, abandonment, and being plunged into life with a grandmother she never knew she had. May be better for girls a few years older than mine, or who deal with similar issues.
Amberle
I feel like the author spend too much time talking to the reader rather than actually telling the story. I suppose if I was trying to teach a child how to write a story this might be a good book to use because the author seems to like explaining why she is telling the story the way she is. But as a story on its own I didn't care for it.
Tracie
Mar 10, 2010 Tracie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: elem
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lori
This is a very cute book. Kaylin has really enjoyed me reading this chapter book to her. I have too. I think every girl can relate to it. It delt with some issues some kids deal with like your mother leaving you and not returning....but it was still good.
Jennifer
Apr 02, 2010 Jennifer added it
Shelves: edited-by-me
"While this book can be read simply as a fairy tale or on deeper levels of love and loss, it elicits the magic of The Velveteen Rabbit and Pinocchio, where only through love does one become real."–-School Library Journal
Maelee
Not your traditional princess book. The princess is a talking doll and Zoey has discovered her. Zoey learns to deal with a mother with mental illness with a little help from her grandmother.
Maryann
This book had great potential. It didn't really have an ending - I kept checking to see if pages were ripped out or something.
Joella www.cinjoella.com
This is a good book with an intense relationship issue. I liked it, but it is not a book I would give to just anyone.
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Readers Reviews 1 9 Feb 13, 2010 10:57AM  
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Marion Dane Bauer is the author of more than eighty books for young people, ranging from novelty and picture books through early readers, both fiction and nonfiction, books on writing, and middle-grade and young-adult novels. She has won numerous awards, including several Minnesota Book Awards, a Jane Addams Peace Association Award for RAIN OF FIRE, an American Library Association Newbery Honor Aw ...more
More about Marion Dane Bauer...
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