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The Principal's New Clothes Paperback – August 1, 1991


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Paperback, August 1, 1991
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 520L (What's this?)
  • Series: Blue Ribbon Book
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic (August 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590447785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590447782
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Mr. Bundy is the principal of P.S. 88. He is also the sharpest dresser in town." So begins this marvelous update of Andersen's The Emperor's New Clothes. The deliciously evil Moe and Ivy approach Mr. Bundy about a new suit made of cloth invisible to those who are stupid or unfit for their jobs. Lie upon lie builds up because no one (including Mr. Bundy) dares to admit to not seeing the fabric. On the day Mr. Bundy plans to show off his new duds, he arrives at school in his very chic underwear. A kindergartner finally calls out the truth, much to everybody's relief. Mr. Bundy is inundated with clothes to wear and, even in his hodge-podge of garments, he still looks sharp. Calmenson's rendition of this beloved tale of self-aggrandizement is particularly fun because of its contemporary setting. The ending is a kinder one since the principal joins in the fun of his predicament. In her appealing watercolors, Brunkus gives the bad guys wicked eyebrows and nearly everyone wears outrageous clothing. A lighthearted poke at authority and vanity. Ages 3-8.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-- An updated version of Andersen's classic story, with a snappily dressed elementary-school principal cast in the role of the emperor. Mr. Bundy wears a different suit each day of the month. Moe and Ivy, two trickster tailors, arrive and offer to make an amazing suit invisible to anyone who is either incompetent or stupid. Duped by them, Mr. Bundy wears his invisible new clothes to the school assembly. At this point the story deviates from Andersen's wonderfully ambiguous final scene of the emperor acknowledging reality but choosing to maintain pride and illusion. Calmenson's principal enters the auditorium clad in his underwear, and one kindergartner blurts out the truth. All the kids and teachers pass clothes up to the stage, and, finally, a sportily attired Mr. Bundy gives the kindergarten child a gold star for her honesty. The story concludes with the entire school agreeing that their principal is smart, competent, and "still the sharpest dresser." The cartoonlike watercolor illustrations reinforce the literal quality of the story, caricature the tricksters as Disneyesque villains, and stereotype the school genius as the quintessential "nerd." In this too-literal retelling and illustrating of a timeless tale, children are deprived of the necessity and pleasure of actively participating, imagining, and drawing inferences. Andersen said it better 150 years ago, and his version still speaks today.
-Pamela Miller Ness, The Fenn School, Concord, MA
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Lewis on February 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
As the title implies, this book is a modernized version of Hans Christian Anderson's classic tale, The Emperor's New Clothes. The general plot remains the same: the principal (the Emperor, in the original) has a new outfit made by tricksters who convince him that the material is special, and that it can only be seen by intelligent people. The principal sends various liaisons to check on the progress of his suit, and, knowing the "amazing properties" of the non-existent fabric, they are ashamed that they can't see it, and so they lie, telling the principal that it's a wonderful suit. When he finally sees it (and pays for it), he thoroughly believes that other people can see it and his ego won't allow him to admit that he doesn't. He wears it (to a school assembly) and the charade goes on until a kindergartener reveals the truth.
Despite the well-known origins, this book takes on flair of its own because of the modern-day setting (a school, which works because of course this is a children's book) and the wonderful illustrations. I especially liked the artist's interpretation of the various word images: when the text says that Mr. Bundy is the sharpest dresser in town, the art shows a smooth-looking guy in showy prints. In other words, it's a kid's idea of well dressed, and it looks great on the page, though it would probably be terrifying in real life.
Though the ending is a little different than that of the original tale, most kids will like this ending better, and it could be used as a great jumping off point for discussions about honesty, conceit, and sharing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
The Principal's New Clothes by Stephanie Calmenson is a children's book that is extremely hilarious. Mr. Bundy, and elementary principal, is the best dresser in town. All of a sudden theese strangers show up and tell Mr. Bundy, "We can make the best suit for you. You will love it!" But this is not an oridany suit, this suit can only be seen by people who are good at their job. When Mr. Bundy finally gets to view his new suit, he can't see anything at all. This worries Mr. Bundy. What will happen next in this story?

This book made me smile while reading it. The way that the author really paints a picture in your mind is amazing. All of the descriptive words are wonderful as well as the language is just right for kids reading it. Although this book is fast paced it's very easy to keep up with it. The Principal's New Clothes is a easy and fun book to read. I reccomend it to anyone who wants a smile on their face. I know for a fact that children would definitely love it. I suggest you go check it out today!
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Format: Paperback
A cute adaptation to The Emperor's New Clothes, this modern-day story has all the makings of the original version, but with a few changes. Children will enjoy this story as they envision a person who is both smart and well respected being fooled into believing a lie. A fabulous book for classroom reading, this picture book will help children see the value in telling and discerning the truth.

I may actually like this version better than the original. Primarily, because children are far more capable of relating to a principle, than to an Emporor. Also, I see all too often, people in positions of authority being made a mockery of in children's literature and on television and in movies. That, however, is not the case with this book. - It is truly an entertaining book with an underlying message that is worth telling to children.

DeeDee Fox, author and illustrator, The Ruby Red Slippers
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A Kid's Review on May 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
What would you do if your principal was going to be tricked, but you didn't say anything? This happens many times in The Principal's New Clothes by: Stephanie Calmenson. The Story is about a principal who is a sharp dresser, but to fake designers come along and trick him into something embarrassing.

It is a great book for a young because it will make them laugh. The story takes place in a present time at a regular school. The story is silly, yet it has a valuable meaning; you should never lie it may hurt someone.

The author writes in a style that kids can connect t. It is a good topic for kids. What kids wouldn't want to see the principal in their underwear?
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By T. Wood on December 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Principal's New Clothes is a story I would not recommend. I purchased it with the idea of comparing and contrasting with the classic The Emperor's New Clothes. I was unable to do that because the story was so different. I would not buy this again because it did not meet my ideas and plans. However, the story on its own is cute.
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Format: Paperback
Though this book was published many years ago, I still find it on library shelves. There are so many wonderful children's books available; this particular version of the Emperor's New Clothes is not one of them. Wordy, pedantic with heavy handed illustrations, this book will have limited appeal.
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By Nora on November 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Principals New Clothes book was in great shape. My son used it for a book report and character dress up on Halloween at school.He dressed in mens boxers , a tshirt , mans hat , watch, dress shoes and carried a briefcase. Needless to say he was halarious! He also made an A.
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More About the Author

Stephanie Calmenson's books have been called "marvelous" (Publishers Weekly), "lyrical" (School Library Journal), "hilarious" (School Library Journal), "sweet, funny, and right on the mark" (Booklist). She writes for babies, toddlers, elementary school kids and for all ages about dogs. Among her most popular titles are DINNER AT THE PANDA PALACE; THE PRINCIPAL'S NEW CLOTHES; LATE FOR SCHOOL!; OLLIE'S SCHOOL DAY: A Yes-and-No Book; MAY I PET YOUR DOG?; ROSIE, A VISITING DOG'S STORY and NO DOGS ALLOWED! Book #1 of the Ready, Set, Dogs! series written with Joanna Cole. A former teacher, children's book editor, and Editorial Director of the Parents Magazine Press Read-Aloud Book Club, Stephanie feels privileged to have found work that brings together her love of kids, words and laughter.

To read more, please visit www.stephaniecalmenson.com

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