The Missing Wedding Dress Featuring Barbie by Karen Krugman, illustrated by Laura Westlake, 1986.
Barbie’s friends, Tracy and Todd, are getting married, and Barbie and Skipper are helping Tracy to get ready. Barbie is going to be Tracy’s maid of honor, and Skipper will be the flower girl for the wedding.
However, when they’re helping Tracy to get dressed for the wedding, Barbie’s cat gets loose and Skipper accidentally tears Tracy’s dress trying to catch the cat. The three of them take the dress to the dressmaker to be fixed.
After the dress is repaired, they stop at the shoe store to pick up Barbie’s shoes. However, when they leave the store, they suddenly realize that they no longer have the box with the dress in it. Instead, they have a box that contains several pairs of jogging shoes! Somehow, the boxes were switched, but how are they going to find the person with the right box?
Barbie, Skipper, and Tracy track the person with the dress across town, using the clues that the jogging shoes belonged to a woman in a floppy straw hat with a red van that says “Flo” on it.
The book is available to borrow and read for free online through Internet Archive.
I read this book when I was a kid and I liked to play with Barbies, and I thought that having them solve a kind of mystery was fun, although it’s a very simple sort of mystery, chasing down a lost object. I liked this book a lot when I was little.
Barbie fans might notice that Skipper doesn’t have her 2000s look, basically looking like a smaller version of Barbie herself, which was how she looked in the 1980s and 1990s, when I got my Barbie dolls. Since then, Mattel has changed Skipper’s hair. However, people who are younger than I am might not be aware that Tracy was also a doll from the 1980s, a friend of Barbie who came in a wedding dress. This 1982 commercial on YouTube shows bride doll Tracy with her groom, Todd. The Tracy and Todd dolls existed before this book was written, so the book was written to give the dolls a story, and the dolls weren’t created based on the book.