Reviews | Mark Loewen

Reviews for What Does a Princess Really Look Like?

“What I liked most about the book was the realization that the princess did not have to be perfect. It is wonderful for girls to see a princess who is smart, strong, and beautiful. However, I believe it is more important for them to know they don’t have to be all those things all the time. 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. Which will also tell the girls and boys reading this book that they to can be imperfect.”
— Dinah Davis, Founder of Code Like A Girl


“This book honors the magic of princesses while helping girls expand their definition of what a princess can truly be. Girls are brave, outspoken, imperfect, and self-aware — and this book teaches girls that princesses can be, too.”
– Rachel Simmons, Author of the Bestseller “The Curse of the Good Girl”


“‘What Does A Princess Really look Like?’ is an adorable book showing children that we don’t have to be perfect in everything we do. Each person is perfect just the way they are. And it’s great that the main character has two dads. We need more books like this that highlight LGBTQ families.”
– Eric Rosswood, Author of The Ultimate Guide for Gay Dads


“The book ‘What does a Princess really look like?’ is 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


“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. ‘What Does a Princess Really Look Like?’ explores the thoughts of a young girl, deciding what her version of a princess should be. 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


“‘What Does A Princess Really Look Like?’ is creative, philosophical and empowering. It sends a strong message to our kids 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, Gayswithkids.com


“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


“‘What Does a Princess Really Look Like’ is gorgeous and empowering. It encourages independent play, healthy social interactions, and great parenting. While beautifully illustrated, it also sends several important messages to young minds. I’m looking forward to seeing it on the bestseller’s list!”

– Frank Lowe, @GayAtHomeDad


“As a child of LGBTQIA+ parents, I wish I had more books like this growing up. Chloe’s creativity and inner strength flew off the page and into my heart.This book is wonderful for princesses of all kinds, especially those like Chloe with two dads. I’m excited to share this new book with other kids with LGBTQIA+ parents and caregivers everywhere!”

– Kaley Fry, National Program Director of Colage.com


“This book illustrates you can be and look however you want. And you are perfect just as you are.”

– Dr. Ron Holt, psychiatrist, speaker, best-selling author


“…the confidence boosting, feel-good factor that we should be giving to all our little princesses. Not only does it deliver the message that we don’t need to be perfect, it also shows the reader the truly important qualities that we need in ourselves, through everything that Chloe gives to her princess. Such a refreshing change that I highly applaud!”

– Gemma Denham, Author/Illustrator of Me, Daddy & Dad


“…a remarkable and much-needed story for our children. A story for all children, this lovingly written and beautifully illustrated book makes the listener and the reader realize that all things are possible and that we each possess the necessary seed to grow into our own best selves. Brava!”

– Henry Amador-Batten, Founder of DADsquared


“A unique, entertaining, and iconoclastic picture story from beginning to end, ‘What Does A Princess Really Look Like?’ is especially recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections.”

– Midwest Book Review


“Written by psychotherapist Mark Loewen and illustrated in fine entertaining style by illustrator Ed Pokoj (sorry there’s nothing I saw on his website to illustrate how that last name is pronounced! Oy? Odge? Something else? Is he playing Ed games with us?!), this story tells of Chloe!

Chloe is an enterprising young woman who is having a creative quiet time in her room, inventing the perfect princess – and she’s quite inventive in doing so. She works long and hard, adding more paper to the small piece she began with for the head, and drawing a complete princess – and not forgetting to dress her in a fine dress made from colored paper. But is she perfect with a wonky dress? What makes her perfect? Chloe has some good ideas about that, and her two dads are happy to help out at the end.

I thought this book was charming and inventive and perfect for young readers. I commend it. With the Mark Loewen hook, and the Hocus-Pokoj drawing lines, this book won’t sink!”

– Ian Wood, The Ian Wood Novellum


“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!”

– Denise Kylvik (Librarian)


“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.”

– Laura Testa-Reyes, for NetGalley


5 stars. “This book is great for establishing the idea that not everyone fits into a certain category and that everyone is different. I like that it also shows how to turn a mistake into something great. The major themes seem to be confidence and acceptance. Many children, not just young girls, can benefit from this story. It is also nice to see a child having two dads so that more children will be able to relate.”

– Jennifer Maben, for NetGalley


5 stars. “I think this book is great – it empowers little girls and it normalizes same-sex parenting. The girl in the book has two dads, and while it’s not a focus of a book, it does make it seem normal. The little girl in this book is creating a princess, but she includes important attributes: strength, intelligence, observation, etc.

When she draws the princess’ dress, it is a little crooked and she’s concerned. But her dads reassure her it just looks like she’s dancing. The morals of this story are great for little girls – it’s not about how you look, but rather what’s inside and how you are as a person. Highly recommend!”

– Sarah Lewis, for NetGalley


5 stars. “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.”

– Teresa Grabs, HW Book Reviews


5 stars. “What an incredibly cute book, I love how it gives an alternate view of what princesses should be. That perfection isn’t necessary, nor is it wanted, in fact imperfections should be celebrated! I love that her two dads reinforced this! Heck I love that she has two dads! We need this in our collection, ASAP! I loved it and so did my 4 year old niece (She snuck up and snuggled with me to read it, and made me read about the “princess with the blue hair” 3 more times!). Perfection in just a few pages!”

– Tiffini Terry, Librarian


5 stars. “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.”

– Marilyn Panton for NetGalley


“Great for all the princesses in my life! Wonderful story that reminds princesses that looks are not the most important thing; character is.”

– Emily Bennett for NetGalley


5 stars. “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.”

– Tesha Ham, Librarian


“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.”

– Erin Johnson for NetGalley


“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.”

– Sadaf Sarkar for NetGalley