Posts Tagged ‘Princesses’

Author Interview: Emma Barnes

We are delighted to welcome Emma Barnes author of Chloe’s Secret Princess Club( illustrated by Monique Dong ).
Chloe's Secrete Princess ClubChloe never means to get into trouble but sometimes her plans get a little out of control. With her two best friends, she forms a Secret Club dedicated to making their dreams come true – but fantasy and reality don’t always mix!

Where did the idea come from for Chloe’s Secret Princess Club?

There were a few different things that came together. I’d really wanted to write about a very imaginative, dreamy little girl – somebody who tended to get carried away by her own fantasies. So that was Chloe. And so many girls go through a “princess” stage – I thought it would be really fun to see a group of girls trying to act out their princess fantasies in real life and the kind of disasters that could follow on from that!

What was your favourite book to read as a child?

There were so many. One was Harriet the Spy, which was maybe the inspiration for the fact that Chloe and her friends write things down in a secret notebook, just as Harriet did. I also loved the Narnia books, including The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – which Chloe also loves and which leads her into trouble in chapter one.

What is your favourite thing about being a children’s author?

Working in my pyjamas! Coming up with crazy ideas in my head, and trying to get them down on paper in all their craziness. I also love meeting children and seeing how they respond to the books – even when they mistake me for Enid Blyton, which actually happened once.

Are you a planner or a panther?

I do both. Typically I do plan, but then a lot of the story changes when I write (and rewrite) the book.

What are your top three places to write?

Libraries. Trains. And I love cafes – my favourite is the Opposite Cafe in my hometown of Leeds.

What are you currently working on?

That’s a secret! It’s too early to tell anyone – it needs nursing a bit longer.

What is your favourite fairytale?

Cinderella. It’s such a classic.

If you had to describe your book in a tweet (140 characters), what would you say?

Chloe is determined to be a princess – and she isn’t going to let ordinary life get in her way!

Interview questions by Faye

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Emma is the author of several books for children, including JESSICA HAGGERTHWAITE: WITCH DISPATCHER, for which she was nominated for the Branford Boase award, and the WILD THING series. As well as writing, she enjoys spending time working in schools and libraries. You can learn more about Emma and her work by visiting her website (here),Facebook Page (here), or her Twitter account (here)

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The Worst Princess

Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie (illustrator)

the worst princessBored of your run of the mill princess?
Tired of the traditional princess-finds-her-prince tale?
Looking for a princess with a bit more bite?
Then this is the book for you.
Forget about pretty dresses, fairytale weddings and grand balls, Princess Sue is all about adventure, mischief, and making unusual friends.
She really is the worst princess!

I have a daughter. A dress wearing, pink loving, cover everything in glitter, girlie girl whose ambition she when she grows up is to be a princess. As a former tree climbing, den-building , tomboy (with the scars to prove it), I have to admit that at times her choices in bedtime literature are a little trying. Princesses, colourful fairies, ballet dancers and kittens have featured in all of her recent selections. So when I first laid eyes on The Worst Princess, I rejoiced silently that I might just have found something we could both enjoy.

High top wearing Sue knows the score. If she hangs around her tower, enduring the loneliness and boredom, and grows her hair long enough, her prince will come. Then she can say bye bye to her tower prison and HELLO to a life of action and adventure.

Unfortunately for our modern princess, her Prince is not so clued-up, informing Sue that “Dragon-bashing’s not for girls”. Well, there is no way that our feisty red head is going to swap her tower for another kind of prison. She has a life to live and she is going to enjoy it!

Teaming up with the afore mentioned dragon, Sue rejects the life of a pampered clothes horse and sets about creating her own adventures and finding her own happily ever after.

Told in clever, humorous rhyme, with complementary illustrations, the characters voices and mannerisms are so distinctive that, rather than be read aloud, The Worst Princess begs to be performed.

Verdict: A little bit of mischief and spice to counteract all of the sugar and niceness of traditional princesses. It will be enjoyed by future princesses and grown up tomboys alike.

Reviewed by Caroline

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: April 2012
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture book
Age: Early reader
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: British book
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