Sunday, May 09, 2010

Children's Book Monday

Ah, princess books.

There happens to be a princess who lives in our home, and coincidentally, she also happens to love princess stories.

Although to her, when we are at the library searching the rows for titles, any book that has a pink[ish] spine is a princess book! Imagine her surprise when she *gasps* and pulls a rosy book from the eye-level shelf and turns it to reveal the cover and... it's about frogs. Or cars. Or bugs. Her smile falters, and it makes me laugh every single time; more often than not I say, Eliana, that looks like a good book! Let's see what it's about before we put it back, okay?

Well, this book does not have a pink[ish] spine, but it happens to be about princesses, and it is now one of our favorite princess stories of all time! Have a princess in your home? Are you the princess? Well then, dear reader, pull up a footstool and I'll wrap the corner of my quilt around you and we'll read and laugh together...

Princesses Are Not Quitters!
written by Kate Lum
illustrated by Sue Hellard

This story begins with an aerial view of the most gorgeous seaside palace you have ever seen, with roses all around. We spent several minutes poring over the two-page spread; flamingos in the pond, fountains surrounded by perfectly trimmed hedges, a winding path leading down the cliffside to a boat in the harbor...

But soon, in stereotypical princess fashion, Princess Allie, one of three sisters breakfasting in the garden, throws her toast on the ground and declares that she is bored!

When Princesses Allie, Libby, and Mellie see three servant girls walk by, carrying buckets of milk, it is agreed between them that servants have all the fun! Out in the fresh air, doing interesting things... And they call the servants over.

Soon, a switch of dresses has been made (although the princesses still sport their exaggerated eighteenth century wigs with tiny crowns perched on top!) and the princesses tell the servants happily, Now you can sit in the garden all day. Ha!

The girls declare to the housekeeper that the princesses are to be treated just like servants until midnight, and excitedly run off to their first jobs. Soon, though, once they've finished work, they hopefully ask Mrs. Blue for lunch. Despite a table overflowing with delicious food, Mrs. Blue insists that there is no food left, and that the girls must begin their afternoon chores!

Throughout the day, the princesses do their best, precariously balancing on step ladders to dust the ceiling, scrubbing the fountains, sweeping the halls, making the cheese, baking pies, molding the butter into pats that bear the royal crown, shearing the sheep... And whenever they request a meal, it is restated that there is no food left, and the next batch of work begins. The princesses become aware that they are not very good at some of the jobs (mostly because of their taaaall hair- birds are perching in one wig, Allie's nearly topples over while she washes the dog.) But they didn't want anyone to say that princesses are quitters, so they kept on working.

And when the princesses do finally get to sit down to a meal (after they've slept till noon the next day!), Allie realizes that she made the bread, Libby notices that she peeled the fruit for the pie, and Mellie sees the crown mold she put into her pat of butter! And when they see the servants limping by, they decide to make a proclamation.

The pages of this book are so alive with details- in the kitchen, I spied a notice on the wall that I pointed out and read to Eliana: No eating between meals by order of the Princess! We looked at the overflow of yummy foods in the princesses large snack cupboard (in direct contrast to the servants' food cupboard- simply a small cabinet door in the wall!), and talked about the difference in what they ate compared to the servants. We laughed over the tall hair and the outlandish stacks of dishes and the enormity of the soup cauldrons the princesses had to scrub...

...and we thoroughly enjoyed the lesson in this story. You will, too!

(Princesses Are Not Perfect, the next title in this little collection, looks delightful, too- we have it on hold for our next library visit!)

Happy Reading!

Do you have a children's book you would like to share? Oh, please join us- add your link below!

2 fellow travelers shared:

Missie said...

Sounds super cute!

Kathi @ A Mother's Prayers said...

"Princesses" are in the air...

Even though my Little Girls are really Big Girls, I bet they would LOVE this book! It's good for our Princesses to learn quickly that "Princesses don't quit!"

We got the girls Marcia Brown's "Cinderella" to read backstage last night at their Cinderella Ballet and they LOVED it!

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