Prince Nautilus

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In a weathered shack by a windswept shore, two girls lived with their father. Though the older sister, named Columbine, was a great beauty, her heart was as cold as kelp. But the younger daughter, Fiona, was kind and capable and full of dreams.

A fisherman's two daughters, one vain and lazy, the other generous and brave, set out to help a prince who has been imprisoned in a seashell.

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Overview

In a weathered shack by a windswept shore, two girls lived with their father. Though the older sister, named Columbine, was a great beauty, her heart was as cold as kelp. But the younger daughter, Fiona, was kind and capable and full of dreams.

A fisherman's two daughters, one vain and lazy, the other generous and brave, set out to help a prince who has been imprisoned in a seashell.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Melmed ( The Rainbabies ) serves up another original fairy tale, this one employing the classic good sister/bad sister motif. Kindhearted Fiona slaves away in the family's seaside hovel, cleaning and cooking while her elder sister, Columbine, idly preens. One day, Fiona finds a nautilus shell containing a bewitched prince. She agrees to help free him, thus beginning a quest in which she spends as much time compensating for her sister's lazy, selfish ways as she does annulling the enchantment. A surprise feminist ending finds the capable Fiona turning down the prince's inevitable marriage proposal and opting instead for further adventures. Although the conclusion seems a bit tacked on, the story remains an admirable effort. Melmed's fluid, poetic style feels very much at home in the fairy-tale genre, and Sorenson ( I Love You As Much . . . ) echoes her eloquence in impressionistic acrylics--his sweeping scenes enhance the story's timeless air. Ages 5-up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
This is the beautiful story of a young girl who hears a voice in a shell that leads her on a fairy tale journey to rescue the enchanted prince. When he requests her hand in marriage, she declines and says that first she must experience more of the world and together with her father, the trio sets sail for more adventures. Beautifully illustrated. An original fairy tale with a good role model for young girls.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Two sisters share a shack by the sea with their father. The older girl, Columbine, is beautiful, but lazy and self-centered. The younger one, Fiona, is kind and hardworking. One day, Fiona finds a nautilus shell. Inside is a prince, trapped by a sorcerer. The sisters go on a quest to rescue him; he then asks Fiona to marry him, but she wants to travel and have adventures first. The young man has no problems with this, so after collecting the girls' father, they all set sail-with the exception of the rejected Columbine, who has run off on her own. Melmed's story is at once familiar and original. She uses fairy tale motifs-two sisters of opposite temperaments, three acts of kindness toward helpless creatures, and the reciprocal assistance from those creatures. At the same time, Fiona is strong and independent as well as kind, and her request to postpone marriage until she has seen the world adds a neat twist and is entirely in keeping with her character. Sorensen's double-spread illustrations soar across the pages and are infused with light, evoking the heat of the sun and glare of the sea. Tawny colors are accented with pale pink and lavender- just enough to add a hint of fairy-tale magic. Text and illustrations integrate beautifully for a story that both readers and listeners will enjoy.-Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA
Lauren Peterson
Reminiscent of Cinderella, this fairy tale is about two sisters--one hardworking, generous, and kind, the other a lazy gold digger. While walking along the shore, Fiona (the good sister) hears a cry for help coming from a seashell. Inside the shell she finds Prince Nautilus, who has been trapped by an evil sorcerer and needs the sisters' help to break free. The sisters both agree to aid him--Fiona because she is good, Columbine because she wants to marry the prince. On their journey to a magic isle where the spell can be broken, it's Fiona who captures the prince's heart. Sorensen's acrylic paintings are accomplished with gusto: their broad, loose brush strokes and effective use of sunlight and shadow hark back to the work of the Impressionists. The predictable plot offers no surprises, but Melmed's theme has the pull of enduring popularity.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688045661
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.34 (w) x 11.34 (h) x 0.37 (d)

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