Princesses are not Quitters

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Overview

Bored just sitting around their garden over breakfast, three princesses decide to swap "jobs" with their servants. The housekeeper gives them a long list of chores to keep them busy for the day: sweeping, dusting, polishing, tending to the gardens, and many other tedious tasks. The next morning, when the princesses find themselves appreciating the fruits of their own labors they decide that a proclamation is in order: "Rest when you are tired. Eat when you are hungry..." and many other necessary and wonderful ...

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Overview

Bored just sitting around their garden over breakfast, three princesses decide to swap "jobs" with their servants. The housekeeper gives them a long list of chores to keep them busy for the day: sweeping, dusting, polishing, tending to the gardens, and many other tedious tasks. The next morning, when the princesses find themselves appreciating the fruits of their own labors they decide that a proclamation is in order: "Rest when you are tired. Eat when you are hungry..." and many other necessary and wonderful rules. Will life ever be the same again in this princessdom by the sea?

Three bored princesses decide to become servants for a day and learn what hard work is all about.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Three princesses with hair piled high into superlative coifs deliver a message about the relationship between work and play in Lum's (What! Cried Granny) tale of royals switching roles. Princesses Allie, Mellie and Libby-whose Marie Antoinette-style dos differ only in color-wonder one day if their servants have more fun than they do. When they instruct the housekeeper to boss them around as if they were real servants-"No arguing, Mrs. Blue"-she obliges them by driving them from pillar to post. Their wild list of chores ("They had to churn the butter and drain the butter and mold the butter into pats and every pat had to bear the crown to show that it's the royal kind") forces them to miss all three meals. "But they didn't want anyone to say that princesses are quitters," so they work until midnight to get everything done. Hellard's (the Dilly series) dainty, pale-pastel watercolors add to the fun, with chairs stacked up to the ballroom ceiling to allow the princesses to dust, and long shopping lists ("1000 peacock eggs"). Of course, after their day of work, the princesses issue a proclamation allowing the servants to sleep in until nine, rest when they're tired and eat when they're hungry. They also discover that being waited on hand and foot isn't as satisfying as eating royal butter pats they've churned themselves. Whether they're eager chore-doers or not, little princesses will find this tale a royal treat. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This refreshingly different look at royalty begins with three very bored princesses who decide that their servants lead much more interesting lives. Their subsequent demands to be treated like servants yield a seemingly endless list of jobs that leave them hungry and staggeringly weary. But as the title suggests, they don't quit until all the chores are finished. The next day, mindful at last of the work to be done, they proclaim a new and delightful life for all servants, which in turn means a very busy life for the determined princesses. Hellard's light-hearted, sketchy, transparently colored drawings are created with vivacious lines that suggest the saucy, social-conscious drawings from 18th century England. The double-page layout of the palace's buildings and grounds provide the setting for the pages of vignettes describing the princesses hard at work. Details include assorted animals as well as scrumptious food and funny hairdos. The jolly tale may mask a message that might lead to a discussion of classes and roles in society. 2002, Bloomsbury Children's Books,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Bored with their lives of pampered luxury, Princesses Allie, Mellie, and Libby enviously watch three servant girls "Out in the fresh air, doing interesting things" and decide to swap jobs for a day. The young royals eagerly run off to work in high-heeled shoes and towering bouffant hairdos, but after polishing the windows, scrubbing the fountains, and washing the dogs, they begin to realize just how hard they must toil. Their afternoon and evening chores seem even more daunting, from making butter to shearing sheep, but they persevere. The next morning, although exhausted, the formerly spoiled young ladies take pride in their accomplishments: "Say! I think- I made this bread!" With newfound empathy for others, they proclaim new rules: "WORK no more than you can do" and "SPEND an hour every day just SITTING in the gardens." Hellard's watercolor illustrations humorously depict the mayhem created as the princesses try, often unsuccessfully, to keep up with the ever-growing list of duties. Witty details, such as a chicken making a nest and laying eggs in Princess Libby's voluminous hair, are sure to please. Children will enjoy the role reversal in this lighthearted tale.-Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Three pampered princesses find out what life is like for the overworked servants in their "huge silver palace by the sea," in this ode to the inherent worth of a hard day’s work. Lum uses a light, humorous approach and fairytale language to convey her gentle social commentary, providing lots of snappy dialogue and long lists of chores that the princesses must accomplish when they switch places with three servant girls as a lark. The princesses have a collective paradigm shift in attitude and proclaim kinder, gentler rules for the servant staff. They continue to pitch in with the work as they find they enjoy the fruits of their own labor. Hellard’s delightful watercolor-and-ink illustrations feature 18th-century-style princesses and a palace reminiscent of Versailles. The princesses are particularly amusing, with imaginative, fancy gowns and immense wigs that provide resting spots for passing farmyard fowl and a stray spider. The illustrations are full of visual humor and tiny jokes that extend the humor of the story. Little modern-day princesses who don’t like to clean their own rooms just might learn a thing or three from these practical princesses. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582347622
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 4/5/2003
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.62 (w) x 12.08 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate Lum grew up in New England, headed to Canada for university, and never quite made it home again. She is now settled in a picturesque little theatre town near Toronto with her husband, an entrepreneur, and two children.

Sue Hellard is the illustrator of many wonderful books for children, including Baby Lemur and Christmas Carols for Cats. She lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2004

    fun book

    Many girls esteem to be a princess. This book shows that being pampered isn't as rewarding as a good day of work.

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