I grew up in a world of Fancy Nancy and Skippy Jon Jones, you know, the classics. Maybe a scattered Dr.Seuss, but to be honest I could never fully enjoy those stories like most people.
Anyway, I was also one of those annoyingly advanced kids who learned to read in 1st grade, and became a speed reader within a few months, so I would plow through every Junie B. Jones and Magic Tree House out there, and had moved onto The Baby Sitters Club in Third grade (I still have a decent portion of the books), and eventually Sweet Valley High, but somehow, along the way, I missed one of the greatest books out there, and under-rated the other.
So today, we’re going to be reviewing two children’s book (a possible nod to me getting closer to trying to publish my Children’s book?), both with a princess theme.
And first up to the batting ring we have…
Beth Moore’s “My Child, My Princess”.
Now perhaps, I might be a bit biased on this book, just because it was the only book I let my mom read to me once I actually learned how to read, and I genuinely enjoy the story line behind it, but how exactly does it hold up, six years after I last read it (and twelve years after I first read it).
So the story starts following our young Princess, who was commanded to clean her room by her dad-the king. Of course, because she’s a princess, and there is no way in the land of SUGAR COOKIES this girl is going to clean her room; she does the most logical thing- She Runs Away. Unlike every single one of us who has actually tried to run away (but actually just goes to our parents closet or the bathroom), she actually runs away-dressed up as a peasant-she goes to live like them. She get’s along fairly well, however, things get bad, and she watches as people taunts the King-her father, the only one who can recognize her. She feels horrible, and returns, promising to never again hurt him, and he basically calls her bluff, but tells her that it doesn’t matter, because his love for her will never end.
So what are my thoughts on this story?
Well, I will always love this story, for what it is, the parable, and the memories behind it. However, I did find a few flaws. I always thought that the book was long, whenever I, or somebody else read it, but in retrospect, when I picked it up just recently, the book didn’t feel nearly as long-and I quickly realized that it was the way that it was written (in loose “old English”, if you will), which made it a bit harder for younger me to understand. Not to mention, the placement of some of the words had current me re-reading to check and make sure I wasn’t going crazy.
So in conclusion, despite the slight confusion in the writing, I would still give this book four-out-of-five ginchies, especially if that was really the only flaw. Who do I suggest reading this (to)? Most likely someone ages Five and Up, considering I don’t think a three year old would have the ability to enjoy it as much. I do think that even adults should read it, because it transports you to a completely different time, with a sweet story/parable with this, that would genuinely make someone feel good.
To a story I was not so lucky to have around when I was a kid, but would have totally loved-Just Princesses, by Crystal Velasquez.
So interestingly enough, I found this book shoved under one of the desks at moms book and found myself absorbed in it almost instantly. Which is weird, because I feel like the intended age group for this was actually 6-12, and also, I’ve enjoyed a few comic books in my life, however I’ve always been more drawn to people “drawing” with words (if you will).
So, for the summary?
Princess Katrina’s -one of our main squeezes- father has remarried an “evil” step mother (only Princess Katrina isn’t the type to be negative-kudos to the author for writing a positive princess who didn’t whine about life), who was actually a witch (but who could tell, she seemed like a wholesome family friendly lady), and had a moody daughter, who just didn’t really like anybody or anything. (A genuinely relatable character).
So the evil witch-step-mom has decided that kids should be old, and she should have youth, only, things don’t work out to plan, as she ends up…
So this means that the two step-sisters (you know, moody daughter and Princess Katrina. I have the book, and could easily give you names, but then you wouldn’t fill compelled to read it as much), along with their gaggle of friends and animals (THE BEST PARTS) set out for a way to get the adults back, and turn the ha – step mother, normal again. This instills them on a journey that shows the independence, and the importance of making decisions.
Now usually, I’d try to describe the story more, but we’re about to go off on a tangent, and say this book’s take on Feminism, is something just about anyone could get behind
Because the story had it’s Prince charming, but the characters themselves acknowledged that they didn’t actually need him, or his “masculinity”. Not to mention, the Prince himself had problems, so the Princesses weren’t the only ones whining about problems. I think the biggest enjoyable moment of this for me, wasn’t just the show of feminism in an enjoyable, clear-but-tasteful entrance, but the logical thought process of the characters themselves. They were relatable, and that is something that is very hard to find in fairy tale stories.
Just Princesses, written by Crystal Velasquez, is the one book that I would suggest that everyone read this book at least once. A fun childrens story, with a strong character set up and background. Usually I would list my flaws, however, I genuinely struggle to find some, perhaps because it was a story I enjoyed so much. I have read reviews online, where people find the open-ending frustrating, and few other concepts annoying, however the comedy aspect is what is really enjoyable. As I’ve stated (numerous) times before, it’s very hard to write characters that are relatable, not to mention adding strong characters with flaws, that don’t come off as painful illusions.
I would also like to give this book, Five out of Five ginchies, for the make-up, and concise storyline of the book (AND, since I haven’t mentioned this, the fourth wall breaking).
Before we move on to the ending, I want to quickly apologize for the sloppy review of Just Princesses, I am EXHAUSTED, and sick. I however really enjoyed these books, and was eager to suggest both to you all. I hope to eventually come back and revise this book review, but as for now, this “dying” (I’ve been a whiny one this week), teen is getting ready for bed.
Have you read these books? Did you enjoy them?
Remember to live your life like the ginchy story that it is!