In “100 Dresses: If the Magic Fits,” Susan Maupin Schmid writes a story that will enchant middle grade readers. The story centers around a young servant girl in a castle which turns out to be magical. The young girl is improbably named Darling Dimple, and she rises from pot scrubber to the princess’ lowest ironing girl.
Darling falls under Princess Mariposa’s charm and is enchanted by her wardrobe. By accident, she finds the one unlocked closet of the princess’ wardrobe where the old queen’s dresses are kept. And when the magical canary is put in that closet one day, the magic comes alive — and so do the dresses.
Darling finds out that when she puts on a dress, not only does the dress magically change into a different dress, Darling becomes the image of another person. And once she realizes that there is a mystery in the castle that needs solving, and that the castle itself needs saving, Darling uses the dresses to investigate.
There is an intriguing mystery to solve, charlatans to unmask, some class snobbery to overcome, and lots of adventure in this charming story. It’s a fairy tale story with a bit of Cinderella in the magic mice and the singing birds.On the whole this series (this is only the first book) will certainly appeal to middle grade lovers of fantasy.
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by Random House Books for Young Readers, the publisher, for review purposes.