The Apple-Pip Princess

The Apple-Pip Princess

4.0 1
by Jane Ray
     
 

With sumptuous artwork, Jane Ray tells an original fairy tale of a humble princess whose love for nature’s beauty restores a kingdom.

Once there was a kingdom full of laughter, happiness, trees, and birdsong. But when the queen dies, the land becomes quiet and barren, and everyone is filled with sadness. What will make the kingdom bloom again? Can

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Overview

With sumptuous artwork, Jane Ray tells an original fairy tale of a humble princess whose love for nature’s beauty restores a kingdom.

Once there was a kingdom full of laughter, happiness, trees, and birdsong. But when the queen dies, the land becomes quiet and barren, and everyone is filled with sadness. What will make the kingdom bloom again? Can Serenity, the youngest of three princesses, bring hope and life back to her kingdom with a single apple pip — a precious seed left to her by her mother? This original fairy tale is brought to life and exquisitely illustrated by the internationally renowned Jane Ray.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Lyrical language and enticing gold-embellished illustrations distinguish Ray's otherwise predictable original fairytale. Resonating with echoes of King Lear and the Bible, her story is grounded in the traditional elements of the fairytale: three princesses, seven magical objects from nature, a kingdom saddened and bleak after its beloved queen's death and an aging king who gives each of his daughters seven days and seven nights to demonstrate which is most worthy of reigning after him. The two self-absorbed eldest erect lofty monuments that pay homage to themselves, but the youngest, "little and shy and quite ordinary" (and too aptly named), Serenity, is inspired by an apple pip ("seed" to American readers) that, along with a lot of hard work and a little magic, helps her transform the desolate kingdom into a warm and blossoming community. Ray's extensive experience is apparent in her well-balanced use of text and art to create a magical, yet earthy, mood and even pacing. She fills many pages with intricate, multi-faceted images, and these spill over with rich details; she also enlivens several of her customary, quasi-naïve paintings with smoothly and strategically deployed digital art. The dark-skinned, possibly African princesses nod at multiculturalism, while the happily-ever-after ending reaffirms the importance of community and the environment. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)

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Children's Literature - Ken and Sylvia Marantz
Ray's original fairy tale begins in a faraway kingdom with an old king and his three daughters. The queen has died, and the land is sad and barren. To choose which daughter will succeed him when he steps down, the king gives each of them seven days to do something to make him proud. Suzanna, the eldest, orders all of the people to build the tallest tower in the world to reach the moon. Vain Miranda decides to order a tower of metal to reach the stars. Shy little Serenity, the youngest, wonders what she can do. Gazing into the small box that was her mother's legacy, she takes out the small apple pip within. Beginning with the planting of the pip—with the help of the people—she miraculously transforms the land and wins the right to rule the kingdom. The cover depicts a framed Serenity with her cat and the box on the front and a bird's-eye view of the town on the back. The illustrations are patterned and detailed to enhance the text, with the clutter of the castle, the seven items in the box, the amazing towers built of all manner of collage, and the stream of people bringing the construction materials all creating a magical texture upon which the tale is revealed. We sense the happy ending, as the hills gradually produce the trees from the freshly planted seeds. In the end, all three sisters listen together "to the magical sound of the nightingale's song." Reviewer: Ken and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

Gr 1-3- About to determine a successor, an old king instructs each of his three daughters to do something that will make him proud. Several years earlier, their mother had asked each of the princesses to choose one of her possessions before she died. Now, the kingdom stands in a dire state of disrepair. The oldest princess took a pair of elegant and magical shoes. She builds a tower and decides that since she is the smartest, she should rule the kingdom. The middle sister chose a mirror and decides that since she is the most beautiful one, she should rule the kingdom. The youngest sister, having a low opinion of herself, took a wooden box containing things that her mother had collected, such as an apple-pip and raindrops. Serenity plants the pip and waters it with the raindrops. After a lot of hard work by the princess and her friend Joseph, the kingdom is restored to its former state and she is chosen as its new ruler. This well-written book has elegant painterly illustrations and encourages young readers to consider the true value of things and people's actions. A good selection for storyhours or for independent reading.-Anne Parker, Milton Public Library, MA

Kirkus Reviews
Since the queen's death, the heart has gone out of the kingdom. The queen had asked each of her three daughters to choose something to remember her. Suzanna, the eldest, took a pair of sparkling scarlet shoes; Miranda, the middle one, picked a magnificent mirror; Serenity, the youngest, selected a simple wooden box that held seven magical things the queen had collected: a rainbow fragment, a burst of nightingale's song and a tiny apple pip among them. The king sets a seven-day task for his daughters, something to make him proud and to determine who will rule after him. Suzanna builds the tallest wooden tower in the world and Miranda builds a taller tower of shiny metal. Serenity first plants the apple pip, then pips from a pear, orange and cherries. On each of the seven days, she releases one of the magical things in her box, nurturing the fruit, transforming the land and making it bloom again. Ray's trademark illustrations of vibrant scenes and delicate details enliven this satisfying, original fairy tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763637477
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
03/25/2008
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.90(w) x 11.90(h) x 0.48(d)
Lexile:
AD950L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

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