345C: Children’s Princess book with a dress making competition to find new Queen

I’m looking for a book that I remember absolutely loving when I was about 6 or 7. The plot that I remember is about a young princess whose mother died when she was young. She loves dresses and her father the King thinks that as she grows up, it’s very important that she has a mother figure. So he (or maybe someone else) decides to start a kingdom-wide competition where all the women design their own gowns and there will be a big ball and the princess will choose which dress she likes best, and that will be her new mother. I think the book shows all the rich women in the kingdom spending all of their money on these fancy dresses and then there is a poor woman who makes her own beautiful and simple dress and goes to the ball and of course she gets picked to be the new Queen! I think there may be other details about the poor woman and the princess, but I can’t remember any! I thought that the title was something like The Princess Dress or something like that, but that may be completely wrong too.
This would be a fantasy children’s picture book. Probably aimed at grades kindergarten to second grade. I read it around the years of 2000-2002, but I don’t know when it was published.
I hope you can help! This has been driving me crazy for years!!

335M: Children’s Fable Anthology

I’m looking for a hardback collection of children’s stories/fables from the late 80's or early 90's. The illustrations for each story were very round-faced, cartoony characters, and the cover was blue. I remember there being around 10-15 stories and the ones I most clearly remember are a version of “Stone Soup”, a version of “The House with the Golden Windows”, and a story very like “The Giving Tree”.

The most unique story I remember that I can’t find anywhere online is a story of a King challenging his 3 children (two sons and one daughter) to prove who should inherit the throne. He gives them each a gold coin and sends them to buy something that will fill every room of the castle. The oldest son buys feathers and tries to spread them out but there aren’t enough. The second son hires a flute player to fill the castle with music but it can’t be heard in the tallest tower. Finally the daughter buys candles for every room and fills the castle with light and therefore wins her father’s challenge. I have been thinking about this book for so long it would be amazing if anyone could point me in the right direction!

332W: Wise King Shows We See That Which Is Sought

I am looking for a Children’s book, from the 70’s or 80’s. It does have pictures. It may be a Golden book, but that is just a stretch of my memory.

The book is about a Kingdom in strife. Lords and Ladies are backstabbers and no one is happy. The King is fed up with it

The King comes up with a plan: He summons a page. He tells the page he is concerned about the state of the kingdom. He instructs the page to go out (on his horse) into the kingdom and find all that wrong. Find that which has sharp thorns, plants that are poisonous and so forth.  Collect as much as he can (for show & tell) and bring it back in a week.

When the 1st page has left the castle grounds he summons a 2nd page. He tells the page he is concerned about the state of the kingdom.  He instructs the page to ride forth into the kingdom and find all that is beautiful. Collect as much as he can (for show & tell) and bring it back in a week.

The first page comes back. He is cut by thorns and has rashes from the poisonous plants. The King asks: “What is the state of the Kingdom?” The page replies that the kingdom is in terrible shape. It is covered with ugliness and poison plants everywhere he searched.

Shortly thereafter the second page returns. The King asks: “What is the state of the Kingdom?” The second page replies that “the Kingdom is covered with nothing but beauty”. He has the flowers with him to show it.

The King somehow make the point to those in the court that we see that which we seek; not only in nature but in each other. Of course that changed everything and from then on (as I recall) the Lords and Ladies interacted respectfully with each other, seeking to see the best in those around them. Great story. Applicable to today. Hope you can help.

232G: Steps to becoming a king

Hello,

Around 1976 in the U.S., a librarian read our class a book about a boy that wanted to become king. He asked the king how. The king explained he became king by being able to jump to the top of the castle. The boy practiced with hay bails, but had no luck jumping so high. The boy’s dog could jump to the top of the hay bails by going one bail at a time. The boy then knew how to get to the top of the castle.

The book had pictures and could be easily read in one class period.

Thanks for any help in locating this book.

Charles Dorman
Jersey City, NJ