Tag Archives: princesses

Princesses and the Rule of Three

1 May

One of my favorite memories of working in the William Walker library was reading Robert Munsch’s The Paperbag Princess to a first grade class, as part of a Robert Munsch author study.

downloadOne of the girls in that class, was obsessed with Disney princess books. When I read the end, where Princess Elizabeth tell Prince Ronald he is  a bum, the look on the girl’s face was priceless.

During our author study, we observed that Robert Munsch had each of his protagonists face their problem three times.

 

In her newest book, Princess Cora and the Crocodile, written by Laura Amy Schlitz and 61Y26+r7DzL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_illustrated by Brian Floca, the protagonist has three people who stand in her way of having an enjoyable life: her nanny, he mother and her father.  Like Robert Munsch, there is a repetitive, familiar rhythm to each of these encounters that helps young readers predict and anticipate what is about to come.

Princess Cora’s problems are very much, first world problems, but many children with resonate with the lack of control in their own lives.

Publisher’s Summary: A Newbery Medalist and a Caldecott Medalist join forces to give an overscheduled princess a day off — and a deliciously wicked crocodile a day on.

Princess Cora is sick of boring lessons. She’s sick of running in circles around the dungeon gym. She’s sick, sick, sick of taking three baths a day. And her parents won’t let her have a dog. But when she writes to her fairy godmother for help, she doesn’t expect that help to come in the form of a crocodile—a crocodile who does not behave properly. With perfectly paced dry comedy, children’s book luminaries Laura Amy Schlitz and Brian Floca send Princess Cora on a delightful outdoor adventure — climbing trees! getting dirty! having fun! — while her alter ego wreaks utter havoc inside the castle, obliging one pair of royal helicopter parents to reconsider their ways.

 

 

Contempt vs Comfort

20 Jul

You know the saying:  familiarity breeds contempt. This can be true in literature, when, after you’ve read a certain number of books in a genre, you burn out on it. I find this to be especially true in fantasy and dystopian literature. I can be hyper critical of books that seem derivative, and yet, other times, I can find comfort in well-written tropes. Sometimes it is all about my state of mind.

As I read Amy Tintera’s Ruined, I found many familiar fantasy tropes and yet, I was not put off.

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In fact, I rather liked it and found it a comfortable read, full of familiar characters and motifs. Maybe this is because I am relaxed and on summer vacation. Maybe because it has been a while since I have read anything in this genre. Whatever the reason, I found myself caught up in Emelina’s story.

Publisher’s Summary:Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war; her parents were killed and her sister was kidnapped. Even though Em is only a useless Ruined—completely lacking any magic—she is determined to get revenge.

Her plan is simple: She will infiltrate the enemy’s kingdom, posing as the crown prince’s betrothed. She will lead an ambush. She will kill the king and everything he holds dear, including his son.

The closer Em gets to the prince, though, the more she questions her mission. Her rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.

The book is often compared to The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. I can see the similarities, but I liked this one more .he worst thing about it is that is s yet another trilogy and the next book doesn’t come out until 2017. There is something to be said for coming late to a series and binge reading it in one sitting.

 

Princess thoughts

6 Jul

Cinderella never asked for a prince. She asked for a night off and a dress. – Kiera Cass

One of my favorite library stories to tell is about the day I read The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch aloud to a group of first graders. There was one particular girl in the class whose reaction I wanted to see. Mina LOVED Disney princess books and was excited to see a princess on the cover of this book, even the eponymous princess was wearing a paper bag. Her reaction at the end was priceless. She was speechless, and possibly horrified at the unexpected ending. I don’t think it ever became her favorite book, but I hope it planted a seed.

As I aired out the house very early yesterday morning, I picked up my library copy of I am Princess X by Cherie Priest and started to read.

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Publisher’s Summary: Once upon a time, two best friends created a princess together. Libby drew the pictures, May wrote the tales, and their heroine, Princess X, slayed all the dragons and scaled all the mountains their imaginations could conjure.

Once upon a few years later, Libby was in the car with her mom, driving across the Ballard Bridge on a rainy night. When the car went over the side, Libby passed away, and Princess X died with her.

Once upon a now: May is sixteen and lonely, wandering the streets of Seattle, when she sees a sticker slapped in a corner window.

Princess X?

When May looks around, she sees the Princess everywhere: Stickers. Patches. Graffiti. There’s an entire underground culture, focused around a webcomic at IAmPrincessX.com. The more May explores the webcomic, the more she sees disturbing similarities between Libby’s story and Princess X online. And that means that only one person could have started this phenomenon — her best friend, Libby, who lives.

This was a great summer read. It has strong female characters, mystery adventure, clue following and a story within a story. It was a quick read and, although it is marketed as YA, I’d say it was on the younger end of the YA spectrum, so middle grade readers looking for something a little more should give it a try.

 

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