Posts tagged princess
In Fleischman’s book, stories from countries world-wide are pieced together to create the single story of Cinderella, told from beginning to end despite the sometimes incongruous pieces. A sweet, beautiful girl who is mistreated but makes her way to meet the prince, falls in love, and lives happily ever after, albeit sometimes with golden sandals and sometimes with diamond anklets.
Paschkis’ illustrations are reminiscent of wood block prints alternating between descriptive narrative illustrations and background images of ethnic food, clothing, and creatures. Bright, bold pictures pop off the page, and each ethnic section is stacked on others, appearing almost quilt-like in its narrative arc. Paschkis did a good job of keeping images relevant to the text and bringing up cultural differences that children will delight in pointing out. (more…)
Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
Castle Glower is a strange, magical place: one day the kitchen may be just next to the throne room, and the next it may be down three flights of stairs and through a winding corridor. Only the castle knows where things will be next, and only Celie–Princess Cecelia, youngest daughter of King Glower–bothers to chart the castle’s fluid blueprint. Celie is a combination archaeologist and architect, mapping out the ever-changing pathways and room arrangements of Castle Glower. She’s determined to be the first one ever to complete an atlas, and hers is stacked high with color-coded markings, for she knows the castle better than anyone. (The castle does, after all, like Celie best.) Along with her brother Rolf (heir to the throne), her older sister Lilah, and their parents (the king and queen), Celie lives happily with her royal family in their country of Sleyne.
When the king and queen, along with Celie’s eldest brother Brandt, go missing on an excursion to the wizarding college, a mutinous royal council declares them dead and their 14-year-old son Rolf to be king under a regency. Lilah, Rolf, and Celie, though, are not convinced, and as clues pile up–the castle itself continues to organize and decorate rooms as though their parents are still alive–they realize that something serious is amiss. When a foreign prince makes his way on the royal council and tries to become heir to the throne, the three Glower children must fight for the home–and country–that they love. Luckily they’ve got a magic castle on their side. (more…)
Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple; illustrated by Anne-Sophie Lanquetin
In this book, a princess can be any girl doing anything, whether it’s getting rough-and-tumble dirty in the mud or building a tree house with power tools. It’s a refreshing twist on the life and legend of royalty with none of the frilly, typical princess characteristics; these girls are independent and know how to have a good time. Colorful illustrations depict soccer games, epic rescue adventures, and grand feasts with princesses of all types wearing polka dots, baseball jerseys, and tennis shoes. (Peeking out from the background is often a wigged butler or a royal carriage, a visual reminder of the traditional princess theme that’s left behind).
Rhyming and repetition (every clothing description ends with “and a sparkly crown”) make it great for reading out loud, and kids will enjoy piping in as they find the rhythm. It is a positive message, and the cheerful, almost musical narrative beat might just help to break the trend of the popular “pretty princess” books that young girls seem to latch onto these days.
Keep in mind that I have nothing against “pretty princess” books (I loved them myself growing up)… so long as that’s not all a kid reads. As individuals, our uniqueness is what makes us all so special, and this book celebrates that perfectly. It’s a great book for celebrating self, even if that self does like to dress in pink now and again!
Copyright June 2010
Image from www.bn.com
Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Princess Benevolence—nicknamed Ben—is a stocky, stubborn, and intelligent girl. When tragedy strikes and her parents are assassinated, Ben, as the only heir to the throne, must move into the palace with her strict, controlling aunt. Beaten, abused, and locked in the tallest tower, Ben is miserable until the night she discovers a hidden room and learns the magic that can set her free. It’s just the beginning of her journey as she realizes her country is about to be invaded by a bordering nation. From detestable dance lessons and embroidery to a trek through frigid mountain tops and enslavement at the enemy camp, Ben must survive dismal tasks and epic adventures, all the while maturing into the strong leader her people need her to be.
Here there be dragons, princes, princesses, flying broomsticks, magical tomes, and a snarky back-and-forth romance between Ben and the enemy’s Prince Florian. Fans of Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted will love Ben and her determined, progressive attitude, and the adventures and mystical situations she finds herself in will captivate readers. Princess Ben kept me up until the wee hours of the morning, needing to know just how she was going to save the day. Murdock’s writing is fluid, smart, and compelling, making this book a great fantasy read, especially for lovers of the twisted princess fairy tale genre.
Available as an eBook
Image from www.panmacmillan.com.au