As for the Princess?

Overview

When a young lad named Simon is tricked by a greedy, arrogant princess into giving up three very special gifts, he must use all his wits to win them back again.

Once upon a time in a faraway kingdom, three brothers receive unusual legacies from their father. The youngest, Simon, is kind but naive. He proudly puts his gift, an old leather belt, around his waist. In a moment of foolishness he wishes to see the beautiful princess in the castle over the mountains. His brothers warn ...

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Overview

When a young lad named Simon is tricked by a greedy, arrogant princess into giving up three very special gifts, he must use all his wits to win them back again.

Once upon a time in a faraway kingdom, three brothers receive unusual legacies from their father. The youngest, Simon, is kind but naive. He proudly puts his gift, an old leather belt, around his waist. In a moment of foolishness he wishes to see the beautiful princess in the castle over the mountains. His brothers warn that she is as mean and greedy as she is beautiful, but the magic belt whisks him straight to the palace.

In no time at all, the princess tricks Simon into surrendering his belt and her guards chase him from the castle. Returning home days later, tired and hungry, Simon is welcomed back by his brothers. The eldest offers his sack of gold to help regain the belt but cautions Simon to be careful when dealing with the princess. Simon again sets out for the castle.

Once more the greedy princess outsmarts him and Simon is sent from the castle, this time with no gold and no belt. When he returns home, Simon's second brother decides to help him this time. He lends Simon his 10,000 soldiers and the magical horn to summon them. He warns Simon to keep his wits about him.

Unfortunately, Simon is still no match for the princess. After losing the horn and the soldiers to her, he wanders into a magical orchard of apples and plums. Simon discovers that one fruit makes your nose grow large while the other shrinks it back to regular size. Before long he has a brilliant, naughty idea - a clever plan to trick the Princess into returning all his family's special gifts.

As for the Princess? is based on a traditional Quebec folk tale, La Princesse au grand nez, which can be found in the recent Mille ans de contes Québec by Cécile Gagnon.

Author Biography: Stéphane Jorisch is an award-winning artist and designer living in Montreal. He is the illustrator of The Village of a Hundred Smiles and Other Stories (1998), The Magic Mustache (1999) and The Trial of the Stone (2000).

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Simon, the youngest of three sons receives an unusual legacy—even more unusual than his brother's gifts of a sack of 100,000 gold pieces and a horn that can summon 100,000 soldiers¾Simon is bequeathed with a leather belt. To Simon's surprise, once it is on, the belt grants his wish to see the famous, beautiful princess in the castle over the mountain. In a jiffy he is in her presence. Not exactly enthralled with Simon, the princess takes delight in the belt, then takes it for herself. Simon returns to his brother empty handed. The brothers realize the princess is as mean and greedy as she is beautiful and determine that they must outsmart her. Twice Simon attempts to retrieve his heirloom, and twice he is booted out of the castle by guards. What ensues is quite creative on the storyteller's part. Being a folktale from Quebec, it is a little surprising that there seem to be remnants of more familiar European folktales entwined in this story. Perhaps one group activity for use of this book would be to compare it to other folktales for similarities. Probably a better activity, and one that would bring closure to this tale, is to imagine what does happen to the princess. The ending is somewhat disappointing, especially since so much effort was devoted to developing the character of Simon and the princess. I kept thinking I would find out what happened to the princess at the turn of the last page, but I found only the back cover. 2001, Annick Press, $7.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer:Elizabeth Young
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-This whimsical folktale recounts the fortunes of three brothers who find themselves the recipients of unusual legacies from their father. The eldest receives a sack with 100,000 gold pieces; the second, "a horn that could summon 100,000 soldiers in a jiffy"; and the youngest, Simon, receives an old leather belt. Before he realizes the import of his bequest, he has already been transported by it to the boudoir of a beautiful but wicked princess. The naive young man begins to stammer an explanation about the powers of his father's belt when the sly vixen snatches it from him and has him thrown out of the castle. This scenario is repeated with a few variations after Simon receives the loan of both of his brothers' legacies. Utterly dejected after the princess has taken possession of the gold and the horn as well as the belt, he wanders into an orchard where he discovers apples and plums with properties that alter the human physique. Finally, the somewhat dim youth hatches a plot against the conniving princess. Simon's scheme falls into place beautifully and, as one might expect, the princess receives her comeuppance. The artwork, a blend of watercolor, gouache, pen and ink, and some digital work, has a distinctly old-world European flavor. The elegant yet comic illustrative style suits this farcical account of trickery and mischief well. While not an essential purchase, this lightweight tale is good fun.-Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550376944
  • Publisher: Annick Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/1/2001
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.25 (h) x 0.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Stéphane Jorisch is an award-winning artist and designer living in Montreal. He is the illustrator of The Village of a Hundred Smiles and Other Stories (1998), The Magic Mustache (1999) and The Trial of the Stone (2000).

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