Once there was a princess who had no kingdom. All she had was a pony and cart, and a red umbrella to keep her dry from the rain.
What she lacked in worldly possessions though, she made up for in kindness, cleverness and beauty-qualities that made all the rich princes with kingdoms to spare want to marry her. But what is a kingdom without love?
I bought this recently for my daughter’s 4th birthday on recommendation from a local children’s book seller and it is already a firm favourite.
The first thing I noticed was the stunning, whimsical illustrations. I particularly love the amazingly detailed silhouettes (we have found something new to look at with each exploration) and the wonderfully expressive animal images throughout the book.
Having chosen this one for its gorgeous illustration, I was immensely pleased to discover the charming, witty and modern fairytale within.
While the princess is beautiful, if a little bedraggled, her true beauty shines through in her personality. No ordinary, down trodden fairytale princess in need of rescue here. Our Princess is self confident, independent and pragmatic. Rather than being swept off her feet by a handsome prince after a single night of dancing, SHE rescues HIM.
While we are in no doubt of Princesses feelings for her Prince, a man who makes her laugh and supports her unconditionally, she is not defined by their relationship. At one point during the story it looks as though things won’t work out and while the princess expresses sadness, she picks herself up and prepares to get on with her life.
There is no happily ever after assumed here, just the promise of a beautiful shared future based on mutual understanding and goals. A much healthier and realistic role model for our daughters!
Verdict: An exquisitely illustrated modern fairytale.
Reviewed by Caroline