Friday, November 7, 2014


Picture Book Month



Once there was a princess who had no kingdom. She didn't fit in with the other royals.  All she had was a pony and cart and a red umbrella to keep her dry from the rain.  As she wandered far and wide looking for her home, she delivered awkward parcels in her cart.  When she meets a court jester, she finds an unlikely friend who just might help her find her place.

This wise and witty modern-day fairy tale by award-winning author Ursula Jones shows that real princesses don't need grand palaces, fancy balls, or lavish dresses--just true friendship.  Sarah Gibb's charming art brings this timeless story magically to life.


This is a very different sort of fairy tale since the princess does not have a kingdom of her own and also lacks any wealth.  She travels around other kingdoms delivering packages.  As she journeys she looks for her kingdom, assuming that a princess must have a kingdom somewhere.  She stops and visits other royalty but as she isn't wealthy and has no kingdom they treat her to their second best everything, except the court jester who shares with her his very best joke and a pair of his red tights (because her feet looked cold).  And yet despite everything several princes and even a king want to marry her because of her charm and beauty (and very possibly her red tights).  In fact they are so determined that they get into a food fight over it, which does not impress the princess.  Instead she heads off to find her happiness elsewhere.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story.  It's a typical fairy tale in that the good are rewarded, but not necessarily in all the ways one might think.  I like the idea being expressed that happiness can be found in love and family and finding our own 'kingdom' even if it isn't a typical or even tangible place.  And Sarah Gibb's illustrations are beautiful and sweet.


Enter a world of enchantment with this magical retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Award-winning author Ursula Jones tells the story with elegance and humor, capturing all the magic and excitement of this timeless fairy tale. Illustrated with exquisite style by Sarah Gibb, this is a beautiful book to pore over and cherish.


I have become a big fan of Sarah Gibb's illustrations, they are so delicate and sweet feeling.  The silhouettes are a nice contrast to the colored sections.  This is the kind of book that I get requests for all the time.  This version is slightly different than other Beauty and the Beast tales I've read.  There is more here that compares Beauty's sweetness to her sisters' nastiness. This book is rather wordy for young readers making it a great picture book for older readers.

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