Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed Tundra Books‘ So Close. This week we’re thinking about one of our favourite topics, Princesses, and had a chance to review Sterling Publishing‘s The Secret Lives of Princesses (age 7+), written by Philippe Lechermeier and illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer. I have to thank Derry at Sterling Publishing for my review copy.
You’ve probably heard of Cinderella or the princess in The Princess and the Pea story, but what about Princess Oblivia or Princess Miss Hap? You may not know them by name but after reading The Secret Lives of Princesses you may recognize some of them.
The Secret Lives of Princesses explores the lives of the lesser known and sometimes funnier princesses. These stories aren’t your typical princess stories. Like Princess Miss Hap who leaps before she looks, knocking things over and always having accidents. Or Princess Anne Phibian who believes her prince is out there, disquised as a frog, and spends countless hours standing in a pond kissing every green creature she encounters.
My eight-year-old daughter and I enjoyed the witty and often tongue-in-cheek tales of these princesses. I sometimes had to explain things to my 5-year-old and 3-year-old; they were oblivious to the humour but enjoyed looking at the images just the same. And the images are wonderful, filling the pages with colourful representations of the princesses. Even my husband, who’s not a huge princess fan, loved the look of this book.
The Secret Lives of Princesses isn’t so much a story but a guide book to the different princesses. Along with information on the various princesses you’ll find pages on the types of pets princesses own, types of dwellings and more things that pertain to the princesses lives. And there are wonderful side notes, like on stones (did you know each princess posses at least 1 precious stone) or veils (princesses practice walking around the palace wearing them).
Like a reference book, there are notes to other related items found in the book. We would read about one princess and flip to a note on how princesses travel, then on to another princess. My kids loved flipping around the book discovering secrets and marvelling over the illustrations. There’s even a wonderful quizz at the back of the book to discover what type of princess you are: a tender princess, a mysterious princess, a whimsical princess or (gasp) a fake princess.
The book would entertain anyone interested in princesses but the true humour of the stories would probably be lost on the younger set; my 8-year-old could see the wit in most of the stories.
For added fun, visit http://secretlivesofprincesses.com/ for princess games, a royal portrait gallery of the princesses, even find out your princess name. The Secret Lives of Princesses is by far one of my favourite books I’ve reviewed so far.
You can add a copy of The Secret Lives of Princesses to your own personal library by visiting your local bookstore or visit Sterling Publishing. For more great books for kids, take a look at the previous Write a Review Wednesday posts.