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What Does A Princess Really Look Like?

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Chloe dreams of being a ballerina princess. But today she is not practicing her twirls or leaping from room to room. She digs deep in her art drawer to find what she needs to craft her very own princess ballerina. The project quickly turns into more than a simple princess drawing. Chloe realizes that princesses are not just about beautiful hair and sparkly dresses. As her work of art comes to life, she discovers the qualities of character that make up her princess. When she feels insecure about an imperfection in her art, her dads point out that the personal quirks make her princess unique! And Chloe realizes that she is not too different from the princess she so admires. Princesses can look all kinds of way. What kind of princess are you?

Pre-Release Reviews and Endorsements:

"...an adorable book showing children that we don't have to be perfect in everything we do ...And it's great that the main character has two dads..."
- Eric Rosswood, Author of The Ultimate Guide for Gay Dads

"...Society puts so much pressure on women to always look and behave perfectly. Actively choosing to make Chloe's princess imperfect means it is ok for Chloe to also be imperfect..." - Dinah Davis, Code Like a Girl

"Filled with the fuel young girls need to believe in themselves, this book carries the right message at the right time for the next generation of brave young women. It's a must read!"
- Katherine Wintsch, Founder and CEO of The Mom Complex

"As a gay parent, I can do nothing but applaud this breakthrough children's book...This is a must-have for any parent, as it thoughtfully and playfully exposes children to the empowering topics of feminism and diverse families. Two emphatic thumbs up!!"
- Frank Lowe, @GayAtHomeDad

"...creative, philosophical and empowering. It sends a strong message that being smart and strong are true and noble qualities in a person. Chloe is a wonderfully thoughtful character, and it's fantastic to see two dads in a book that'll soon be a favorite in our house!"
- Brian Rosenberg, Co-Founder and CEO of Gays With Kids

"I read this story to my daughter. She loved it! Especially when she discovered that Chloe has two dads like her. A great story, and beautiful illustrations!"
- Juan Luque, 2 Dads + 4 Kids

"...a breath of fresh air for children of different ages, providing the very essence that children can have dreams and be very creative with those dreams. Nevertheless, they can also learn to accept change and very importantly have parents, irrespective of their background, that are loving and so very supportive. A book of many hidden morals, I loved it."
- Erika Tranfield, Director and Co-founder of Pride Angel

32 pages, Hardcover

First published July 1, 2018

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About the author

Mark Loewen

5 books12 followers
Mark Loewen is a phychotherapist and a dad. He was born in Asuncion, Paraguay and moved to the United States to pursue his counseling career. He met the love of his life in Richmond, Virginia. A few years later, they became dads through open adoption. Becoming a father to a girl opened Mark's eyes to the challenges many girls and women face in today's world. Mark's passion for equality drives everything he does, whether he is in the role of husband, father, therapist, or friend. Mark is the founder of LaunchPad Counseling, http://www.launchpadcounseling.com, a private practice in Richmond. He also started Brave Like A Girl, http://www.bravelikeagirl.com, an organization that helps girls overcome challenges by tapping into their courage and strength.

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5 stars
47 (58%)
4 stars
21 (26%)
3 stars
6 (7%)
2 stars
4 (5%)
1 star
2 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews
Profile Image for Sadaf sarkar.
230 reviews18 followers
January 27, 2019
It's a beautiful book which teaches children about the different part of body as well as good quality required to be a good person and a good princess. The narrative is good and drawing are very appropriate and cute
Profile Image for Dana-Adriana B..
649 reviews273 followers
December 4, 2018
Chloe is trying to imagine how a princess looks like. Is she only beautiful and wearing a crown and pretty dresses? Or is she also strong, helping others, kind, smart? With the help of the family she can learn all these things.
Thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for this lovely book.
Profile Image for Mel (Epic Reading).
917 reviews283 followers
March 4, 2021
Super cute illustrations. A wonderful first time reader book; and a message that resonates no matter the age, race, sexuality, or differences between children. But the best part (at least to me) is that this little girl has two daddies! I'm a total suck for gay couples raising babies.
Our little girl, Chloe, tries to define what a princess looks like. She stumbles along the way, and isn't super happy with her result; until her Daddies find a way, to make what our little gal sees as a flaw, an exact replica of her vision and desires! It's truly adorable, perfect for any little girl or child that dreams of being a princess (or a prince!). And it's a story that your children just might carry into adolescence and beyond.

Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
Profile Image for Alexandra.
182 reviews39 followers
July 31, 2018
Thank you to Mark Loewen for the free copy of What Does a Princess Really Look Like? in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

What Does a Princess Really Look Like? It’s not at all what Chloe imagines. In this adventure with her dads, Chloe learns that a princess is more than a crown and pretty dresses. A princess is kind, observant, and stands up for what is right. Throughout the story, Chloe represents all of the ways to be a strong woman (or even a strong human) with the different aspects of a princess that she draws.

I absolutely love the message this story promotes through Chloe’s drawings. Her journey teaches readers to have a deeper appreciation and understanding of characteristics we all should value in each other that don’t simply rely on the physical attributes we can see easily. Chloe is a great role model to show exactly what it take to be brave like a girl!

If you’d like to learn more ways to inspire young readers to be brave like a girl, check out Loewen’s website, Brave Like a Girl. He shares resources on ways to help build confidence in the princesses we all know and love. I perused it, and I found a lot of great blog posts and videos to share with your kiddos!

TL/DR: What Does a Princess Really Look Like? encourages readers to look beyond the surface to identify characteristics that we should value in each other.
Rating: 5/5 stars
Profile Image for Laura.
2,768 reviews82 followers
December 16, 2018
This is a cute book about self-esteem, told from the viewpoint of a little girl who is trying to make the perfect princess.

In this case, princess means someone who is strong.

And she hits all the things that she wants her princess to be, smart, strong, good listener, good communicator.

What I especially like, is that she has two dads, and that isn't a thing that is mentioned other than to show that they exist.

A cute way to teach about what is important in a person, in general.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
Profile Image for Susan.
508 reviews3 followers
January 12, 2019
Thank you to @kidlitexchange for sharing the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Chloe loves pretending to be a princess or a ballerina. She loves dancing with her dad and dressing up with a crown and a beautiful skirt. But when she decides to create a picture of her very own princess ballerina she realizes being a princess is more than pretty clothes and fancy parties. She creates a princess with eyes that notice people who need help and ears to help her understand what she can do to assist them. Her princess has a mouth that utters kind words and speaks up when she sees something that is wrong.

I really like this story, which is illustrated with colorful cartoon type drawings. Chloe demonstrates a deep understanding of the characteristics that we truly value in a princess ballerina or in a little girl. This is a great picture book to share with your little princess to open up a conversation about how she can develop these characteristics.
Profile Image for Teresa Grabs.
Author 11 books45 followers
December 3, 2018
Princesses come in all shapes and sizes, and not all look like what is shown in fairy tales. Loewen’s wonderfully, heartwarming tale of Chloe and her two dads, shows that princesses can be whatever, and look however, they want.

Chloe marches to the beat of her own drummer, and her princess does to. Her princess is very smart, has beautiful multi-colored hair, very observant, strong, kind, and compassionate – just like Chloe. Best of all, her princess is not perfect and she loves to dance – just like Chloe.

Pokoj’s illustrations are fantastic and paint Chloe and her dads’ love perfectly.

Thank you NetGalley and Boutique of Quality Books Publishing for the opportunity to review this amazing book.
Profile Image for Cobwebby Eldritch Reading Reindeer .
5,260 reviews297 followers
December 15, 2018
Anyway she wishes. What does a princess do? A princess does whatever she sets her mind to, of course; that is the lesson of this book for children. Mr. Loewen is the founder of an organization designed to empower girls, and this story illustrates that passion. Chloe is a princess in her own eyes and in the eyes of her two dads, and she sets out to illustrate what a princess looks like, all the while pondering what a princess does. A delightful illustrated story!
Profile Image for Kadie Hayward Mullins.
51 reviews5 followers
August 8, 2018
@kidlitexchange #partner

We are more than our exterior; in fact, that is the least important aspect of us. Our personal qualities are where the fun happens, and where being a good person is fostered. I’m hesitant about any book with the word ‘princess’ in the title but this was such a breath of fresh air. Though I’m still not convinced the lens of ‘princess’ is the best through which to discuss these important topics with children, it is an important response to the inundation of princess-focused children’s stories, toys, etc. that focus on the more traditional narrative. Chloe, the main character, discovers what qualities make for a strong individual (kind, considerate, brave, etc.) beyond the surface as she ventures to draw her own princess.

Empowering children to be their true and best selves through a creative and playful story would have been enough for me to recommend this book. Chloe’s two dads is an added bonus that cannot be overlooked. We need more books like this!

Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for a review copy of this book! All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for D. Olsen Hancock.
1 review1 follower
July 1, 2018
Another great read for our collection!

With a limited amount of books out there with same sex parents, it’s nice to have an example of another family like ours. I love how it’s a story to empower girls to take pride in themselves, and their hard work overall. Another example of 2 strong role models actively involved in the playful life of their daughter. Thanks for writing such a cute story. Our daughter Chloe could absolutely relate.
1 review
July 1, 2018
Hands down, THE best! Having an (almost) 12 year old daughter, born to two dads, this book reiterates for her, the importance of simply living your true self. Be who you are! Well written and beautifully illustrated, the timing for this book is apropos! Our daughter will cherish this book in her collection! (quite frankly, so will I)
Profile Image for Storywraps.
1,968 reviews31 followers
December 28, 2018
If you are asked to create a drawing of a princess what will she look like? What are her characteristics? Would you go back to the stereotype models that wear long ball gowns, a crown, and marries a prince so she is destined to live in a castle all of her life? Chloe, the young heroine in today's book, has a totally different take on her rendition of a Princess.

Chloe dreams of becoming a ballerina Princess. She leaps and twirls to practice her artful skills. Sometimes her two dads dance along with her and have fun. Today in her quiet house Chloe decides to create her very own rendition of how she perceives a Princess to be and wants her to be absolutely perfect.

She gives the Princess a round head which homes a very smart brain and colourful hair made out strands of yarn. She gives her eyes and ears to be observant, a mouth to give her a voice to speak kind words and the Princess's crowning glory? Yes.... a crown to sparkle through her shiny tresses. Chloe wants her Princess to stand tall and to be brave and strong, just to name a few. Finally she designs a lovely pink dress to adorn her Princess but she accidentally glues it on lop-sided. Noooooo! Whatever shall she do? Her Princess is no longer perfect! How can Chloe correct this very obvious imperfection? After all her hard work is her Princess flawed and ugly? Poor Chloe feels terrible! Then enters her dads who want to take a peek at her creation. They sense her distress and give her heartfelt support and encouragement.

Chloe learns a wonderful life lesson from her parents. They admire her masterpiece and express that the crooked dress makes the Princess look like she is dancing... a beautiful movement that she probably learned from her BFF Chloe. Chloe soon discovers that imperfections and errors are not bad things, in fact they are the things that make people unique.

Princesses can (and do) look and feel many different ways. Everyone... including Chloe is amazing just by being themselves! This positive message highlights that it's not the outside that counts but what is deep on the inside that matters the most. I love the fact that girls get to be exactly what THEY want to be and certainly with determination and loving support can achieve that goal. Chloe is very fortunate to have such a loving, supportive family around her to boost her self-esteem and reinforce the point that in their eyes she is perfect... she is their Chloe.

The illustrations are colourful and look almost animated. This book is written with heart and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Paul Franco.
1,373 reviews11 followers
December 18, 2018
A little girl does not settle for simply being a princess or a ballerina; nope, she has to be a mashup. Sometimes she dances with her two dads, though it doesn’t say if they are co-regents.
“Inside the head is where our smarts are.” Never heard it put that way, but I like it.
She’s funny and creative—she is a lefty, after all—and I love the way she��s drawn, especially when lying down. The illustrator captures a child’s joyful being in the way she kicks her legs up. It’s all so incredibly cute, even when things don’t work out exactly as she’d hoped.
Ends with a space to draw your own perfect, or not so perfect, princess, along with a Twitter/Instagram hashtag. Reading the author’s bio shows why, but because he’s a therapist who works with kids, it’s okay.
6,710 reviews79 followers
December 3, 2018
Our heroine decides to create a princess in art form, and tells it encouraging, inspiring things as she does so. But can she be happy with the finished result? And just what kind of princess will she design? This is a very simple moral in picture book form, fitting in with every current self-empowerment trend, telling the young audience that there is no one correct way to look, whether you're a princess or not. Much will be made, too, of the girl living with two fathers. It's a perfectly decent little volume, although needed a smoother approach – the jump to flashback, and the girl's speeches, could have been a little better.
Profile Image for Tesha Ham.
133 reviews6 followers
December 20, 2018
This book is so cute and I absolutely adore it. The artwork is adorable and the message that this book portrays is wonderful. The entire story is about having big thoughts and ideas, standing up for what's right, being strong and brave, and turning mistakes into positives. I think this story is perfect for kid's learning about accepting themselves and growing up to be strong and kind. I would highly recommend.

I received a free ARC copy of this title through NetGalley in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Nina Norstrom.
Author 4 books42 followers
May 5, 2020
I loved this storybook. Guess, you can tell it is a great read – with the reviews it has gotten.
It is a well-written creation and easy read. What little girl doesn’t think about being a princess in their tender years? I know I did! And this little beauty will take them to that precious land. Certain, little ones will adore having this beauty on their bookshelf. What a fantastic book cover look. The author has done a great job in creating this children’s book. BTW, I adored the characters’ designs – very colorful and full of life. Kudos, to you, Mark Loewen!
Profile Image for Melissa.
1,100 reviews32 followers
December 9, 2018
I like the concept behind this book- a princess can be different, do different things, etc. So why does she still need a pink ballgown?? If this princess really is strong and is going to travel the world, she needs to wear something a bit more practical. I think if the little girl was dressed in normal clothes and then ended up drawing a picture of a girl who looked just like she did that it would be a stronger message.
Profile Image for Paige.
7 reviews1 follower
November 7, 2019
Creative, captivating look at character traits -- rather than a perfect image! All young children should learn the lessons in this book. In a world of Disney-wanna-bes, it's nice to read a book where children are encouraged to be strong, kind, and "themselves"! Great for a library collection. If you follow the author, you will see that his daughter personifies Chloe -- so completely. What an encouraging model for empowering girls in the right direction.
Profile Image for Julie.
1,348 reviews4 followers
September 25, 2020
I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Not all princesses are the same. This book shows that you don't have to be perfect or fit in a cookie cutter to be a princess.
Profile Image for Vannessa Anderson.
Author 0 books177 followers
December 1, 2021
In What Does a Princess Really Look Like? author Loewen craftfully tells readers how beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Ed Pokoj illustrations does a great job in helping to tell the story.
7 reviews
April 30, 2019
My Daughter loved this book!

My daughter is 3 and was totally into this book. Yay for strong, smart princesses who enjoy seeing themselves in the mirror ;-)
Profile Image for Shawna (what.shawna.reads).
315 reviews83 followers
January 25, 2019
Children's books have sure come a long way since I was a child. This story is really cute and I love that Chloe wears glasses and has two dads. While it's really encouraging that Chloe associates each body part that she draws with a quality like being a good listener or being strong, I wish there had been more focus on the actions that make a princess instead of physical qualities.

Thanks to BQB Publishing for the advance copy through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Denise Ky (ramblingoutloud).
403 reviews20 followers
December 17, 2018
I liked the fact that the princess didn't need to be either strong and brave or like pretty dresses and dance. She can like and do both. That's the thing. Little girls don't need to hear that they shouldn't wear pretty dresses or sparkly jewels - they need to hear that they can to anything they set their mind to, regardless of how they look or dress. Just like boys, every child, needs to hear.

Sweet and good book!

Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read this - this review is entirely my own.
Profile Image for JenReviews4U.
394 reviews
December 31, 2018
Cute with a great story line. Like the dads approach. Read it to my four year old and she liked it, didnt question there being two dads the only thing she didnt like was the art work. I thought it was a cute short story with a positive message and well done to the author for creating it. 4 stars for the art work (not my style) and thought it could have used some more words of wisdom about being kind and acting like a princess.
Profile Image for Erin *BookDragon_Library*.
838 reviews10 followers
January 24, 2019
I liked the message of each princess having different strengths and the focus is not on looks. It was nice to see a variety of different ideas of what a princess looks like and there were inclusions of different family styles with a m-m parent set. I like any story that strays from the stereotypical princess but I don’t mind the word “princess” like some people do. I think “princess” is an ideal for a lot of girls and is ingrained in fairy tales so it is important to acknowledge that while at the same time, change the image of what the word might mean. I like that it doesn’t send a message that “princess” and pretty dresses and jewels aren’t BAD. They just aren’t the ONLY meaning of princess. The illustrations were cute also even though it isn’t the usual style of illustrations I enjoy. Thank you NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews

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