Princess Grace

( 3 )

Overview

This year two girls will be selected as princesses in the town parade, and Grace can't wait to be one of them. It's the perfect opportunity to dress up-but how, exactly, should a princess costume look? Grace asks her teacher for help, and soon the whole class is learning that there's more to princesses than pink dresses and frills. From Kenya to China and from warriors to spies, princesses are a multicultural and multitalented bunch, and there are just as many kinds of happily ever afters-both for the royals and ...

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Overview

This year two girls will be selected as princesses in the town parade, and Grace can't wait to be one of them. It's the perfect opportunity to dress up-but how, exactly, should a princess costume look? Grace asks her teacher for help, and soon the whole class is learning that there's more to princesses than pink dresses and frills. From Kenya to China and from warriors to spies, princesses are a multicultural and multitalented bunch, and there are just as many kinds of happily ever afters-both for the royals and for Grace's community and its princess parade.

Mary Hoffman's picture books featuring this intrepid heroine have earned major critical acclaim; amongst other awards, Amazing Grace was a Reading Rainbow selection and a Booklist Editors? Choice. Grace's latest adventure is sure to delight her established fans-and win the hearts of many more!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
When Grace, the irrepressible African American heroine of Hoffman's other tales, learns that there will be two princesses chosen from her class for the community festival parade, she gets excited. She has always wanted to be a princess. As she and her friends try to figure out what kind of costume she needs, Grace discovers that there are many kinds of princesses, not just those in fairy tales. As the students and their families discuss princes and princesses, Grace thinks she might like to be an African princess from Gambia, with Kente cloth from Africa for her outfit. Finally, Grace's school has the most interesting float in the parade; the students dress as princes and princesses from all over the world. And Grace is a "proper princess—ready for an adventure." As visualized in naturalistic scenes in school and home, the focus is on the individual girls and boys. The drama comes from the discussion and anticipation, as well as from Grace's Nana, who must create her dress. The visual climax is a double-page spread of the float and surrounding crowds with Grace in her striking African robe. Grace's world is "multicultural"; on the front cover, she smiles as a tiara-topped traditional "princess" and on the back she smiles and waves as the African princess. What a neat solution to the difficult task of choosing only two students for the float! Notes lead the reader to princesses from other places and provide information about Kente cloth. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 2
A fresh story for fans of all things princess, by the author of Amazing Grace (Dial, 1991). Two girls from Grace's class will be chosen to appear in the town parade as princesses. While researching the fairy-tale frills of royal attire, Grace realizes that she doesn't know what a princess does besides look pretty and wear beautiful clothing. She asks her teacher and discovers fascinating, true, long-ago warrior princesses like Amina, who lived in Zaria (now Nigeria), and Pin-Yang of China. She and her classmates convince their teacher to reconsider the school's float, which ultimately allows all of the children to represent different types of princes and princesses. Hoffman's crisp storytelling encourages further reading of the tales Grace encounters, and the author again uses the lightest touch to provide a lesson. The paintings combine flowing realism with traces of anime during the girl's reading. The multiethnic cast and variety of composition make every page worth extended viewing.
—Gay Lynn Van VleckCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Grace longs to be chosen to be a princess in the town parade. While gathering ideas for a costume, she realizes that princesses in the familiar stories don't really do much of anything except look pretty. Her teacher introduces Grace and her classmates to stories of some interesting princesses from all over the world. They hear about Amina of Nigeria, Pin-Yang of China and many others. Everyone wants to participate now. When the parade takes place, Grace is a Gambian princess in Kente cloth, and there are princesses from many varied cultures, including one in the familiar pink, floaty dress. Grace is a charming, engaging character who approaches challenges with enthusiasm. She is able to rethink traditional limits and provoke change. Hoffman provides gentle lessons in a non-threatening, entertaining manner. The illustrations are bright, detailed and dynamic, vividly depicting both of Grace's worlds, the real and the imaginary. The current illustrators wisely maintain the characters' facial features and personalities from the original works, without compromising their own, unique style. Just right. (Picture book. 5-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803732605
  • Publisher: Dial
  • Publication date: 1/10/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 224,029
  • Age range: 4 years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.33 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Hoffman has written more than 70 books for children, and her powers of observation bring vitality and humour to all her stories and retellings.

Her previous titles for Dorling Kindersley include Henry's Baby and A First Bible Story Book. Her best-known picture books are Amazing Grace, Three Wise Women, and An Angel Just Like Me. Mary lives in Oxfordshire with her husband and they have three daughters. The girls were brought up on myths and legends, of which Mary and her husband have an extensive collection.

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Interviews & Essays

1. Where did you get the idea for Princess Grace?

It came from the title as did Amazing Grace; some books just do begin that way and then you have the shape of the whole book which arrives as a sort of present with the title as the wrapping paper and ribbon.

2. Are there any similarities between yourself and Grace?

Many and more important than the differences! "Grace was a little girl who loved stories" - you could substitute "Mary" for Grace in that opening line of Amazing Grace. I still do love stories, whether writing, reading, hearing or seeing them, better than any other single activity in the world.

3. Do you have a favorite place to write?

Yes, I write in my study, in my house, which is a converted barn about 250 years old, in West Oxfordshire, England. It has green walls, white paintwork, a green sofa and a peacock-patterned throw. It also has French windows on to the garden and a view of the bird-table. Oh, and a cat-gym for my three young Burmese cats.

4. What would you be, if you weren't a writer?

I would probably run a small business as people tell me I am very well-organized. As it is I am a business with one boss and one employee - me! My boss is very good to me and if I ask for a day off she gives it to me. (But other times I have to work weekends and evenings and holidays, which is not so good!)

5. Any advice to aspiring writers?

I have a whole page of advice on my website: www.maryhoffman.co.uk
You can find it at the end of the FAQs. It was written mainly for teenagers who write to me about my fantasy novels, Stravaganza, and want to write fantasythemselves, but a lot of it applies to realistic writing as well.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 7, 2012

    One of a favorite princess books!

    We love Princess Books with strong characters and Princess Grace is one of the best princess stories I have read with my daughter. Princess Grace touches on princess stories from all over the world and has lead my daughter and I to naturally start chatting then exploring and researching different kind of princesses including non-frilly modern day princesses. Super cute and great for girls from all cultures. Often I will give Princess Grace as well as The Paper Bag Princess as birthday gifts for the girls in my daughter's class.

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    Posted March 20, 2009

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    Posted December 17, 2008

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