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!!

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

  1. Lenona

    The Good Stepmother, retold by Marguerita Rudolph, 1992?
    From Kirkus Reviews:
    “ ‘Boris Zakhoder, a well-known writer for children in the Soviet Union’ was the original author of this pleasant tale about a princess who devises a unique way to select a stepmother. The king, afraid of getting a dud (‘I would be heartbroken if I were to choose a bad stepmother’), agrees that the choice will be Elena’s. She decrees that contestants will make themselves wedding gowns—but the real test is the tiny bandage that Elena secretly puts on her own finger: the maiden who notices that she’s hurt is sure to be a loving wife and kind mother. Attractive realistic illustrations round out a story that will be welcomed as much for its contemporary theme as for its traditional setting. (Picture book. 4-8).”

    Rudolph (that book was her last book, I think) was born in 1908 in the Ukraine, came to Kansas in 1924, moved to NYC in the 1940s, and taught writing in Mexico and a couple of American universities. She lived in Fresh Meadows, Queens, NY. Her last interview was probably in 1984. What’s maddening is, I can’t find her death date.

  2. Ruth pratte

    The book is called THE GOOD STEPMOTHER by marguerita rudolph. The young princess wraps a bandage around her finger. During the dress competition the lady who notices her bandaged finger is the one whom the young princess chooses to be her stepmother and the new queen.

  3. Ruth

    THE GOOD STEPMOTHER by margarita rudolph. The princess wraps her finger with a bandage. The lady who notices the bandage is chosen to be stepmother and queen.22


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