Friday 11 May 2012

132. The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp illustrated by Sara Ogilvie

The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie
Published May 2012 Simon & Schuster

From the publisher:
Once upon a time, in a tower near you, Lived a sad princess; the Princess Sue. "Some day," she sighed, "my prince will come, But I wish he'd move his royal bum." But when Princess Sue's prince finally does arrive, he's not quite what she had in mind. Find out how the feisty princess escapes the clutches of her twit of a prince in this funny twist on the traditional princess tale.

One of my favourite picture books form last year was Rhino's Don't Eat Pancakes, written by this very same pair, so I did have high hopes from this book.  This isn't necessarily a new story, we have seen a number of picture books over the years where the princess characters break through the 'sweet, and lovely' stereotype, and are portrayed as feisty individuals with their own agendas.  If that kind of princess story is what your looking for, the Princess Sue will not disappoint.

The book is told in rhyme, so it makes an excellent read aloud, although I did struggle with the rhythm at some points, so you may like to read it yourself before tackling it in front of a group.  Princess Sue has read the books, she knows the deal, she may be locked up in a tower, but if she grows her hair,  a prince will come and rescue her...and lo and behold he does.  With true love's kiss the princess is thrilled to be rescued and free at last, but her happiness is knocked for six, when the prince takes her to his castle, where she is to spend her days surrounded by finery...but locked in a tower.

This is not the life she dreamed of, and Sue starts dream about another kind of life, one that is exciting, and dangerous...a life that involves dragons.  With the help of a not so fearsome dragon, they hatch a plan to  help Princess Sue get the life she really wants, and to get her own kind of Happily Ever After.

Like I said, not a new story, but there is always a place for another feisty Princess on the library shelves.

Who will like this book: Girls and boys age 6+
Read it if you like: Princess Smarty Pants by Babette Cole

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