The Secret Lives of Princesses

( 17 )

Overview

Go beyond Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella! Some princesses are well-known to all children—but others, equally magical (and sometimes, a lot funnier) have remained anonymous, mysterious, and far from the fairy-tale crowd.

Now these captivating ladies are finally stepping out of the shadows where they’ve remained hidden for far too long. With wit, sublime humor, and beautiful art, The Secret Lives of Princesses introduces a bevy of royal daughters to the court of young readers. ...

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Overview

Go beyond Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella! Some princesses are well-known to all children—but others, equally magical (and sometimes, a lot funnier) have remained anonymous, mysterious, and far from the fairy-tale crowd.

Now these captivating ladies are finally stepping out of the shadows where they’ve remained hidden for far too long. With wit, sublime humor, and beautiful art, The Secret Lives of Princesses introduces a bevy of royal daughters to the court of young readers. While it alludes to some of their more famous sisters, this large and lusciously illustrated compendium presents such unique and unforgettable characters as the petite Princess Claire Voyant, who can see very far into tomorrow (but muddles her predictions); Princess Oblivia, who forgets everything and misses all her appointments; Princess Tangra-La, who does the tango, the fandango, and any dance that comes her way; and Princess Babbling Brooke, who chatters on and on about everything and nothing. Plus, you’ll learn about such princessy matters as the language of fans; coats of arms; and how not to offend dangerous fairies who cast evil spells.

Poetic, often humorous, and always enchanting, this is the perfect collection for princess-loving girls who long for more than just the traditional fairy tale.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This generous, large-format contribution to the library of princess reference works pushes into middle-reader range. The work of a French team (both making their U.S. debut), it features droll copy, sly sidebars (on princess-related topics that range from four-poster beds to parasols), and theatrically lit princesses painted from all sorts of inventive angles. Lechermeier supplies biographies for more than 20 fictional princesses--Princess Tangra-la, who "dresses wildly, without care, in secondhand clothes"; Princess Paige, who "divides her days into chapters and dreams up titles for each one"; and Princess Sticky-Fingers, who "cracks safes with great style"--as well as notes about princess life ("A princess's tears are prized the world over.... Like invisible ink, they are used to compose the sweetest songs"). Dautremer's Princess Tangra-la dances with such abandon that her socks, watch, and jewelry go flying; other spreads show princesses defeating armies with barrages of tiny, cutout words or bicycling delicately along telephone wires. There's even an index. It's too long to be covered in one bedtime, and parents of princess fans will be forced to check for flashlights under the covers. Ages 7–up. (June)
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—It is safe to say that this volume, purporting to be a guide to princesses, is unique. It is more catalog than storybook. Lechermeier has invented a variety of eccentric women, such as Princess Barbara of Babel, who "speaks a multitude of languages. All the time." Or Princess Claire Voyant, who "reads tarot cards, tea leaves, palms, even the feet of spiders." Also included are expositions on subjects ranging from four-poster beds to cat-o'-nine-tails and a quiz for would-be princesses. Dautremer illustrates the royal population with lush, fanciful paintings replete with teeny details that, if closely observed, reveal more secrets than the text. A certain sort of child may enjoy the wordplay and sly humor herein, but many will find this wacky compendium more frustrating than fun.—Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Readers are not likely to find a stranger aggregation of variegated princesses than in this fantastical collection of royal predilections and whims. This French import examines 34 fictitious princesses and their preferences, taboos, traits and oddities. Along the way it also gives advice on dancing, fans, princess etiquette and a host of amusing ephemera and enticements. For instance, Princess Tangri-la "dresses wildly, without care" and adores dancing; her "bio" is accompanied by a short, idiosyncratic exposition on dance. This book begs readers to pore over its miniscule details at length, to say nothing of Dautremer's lushly rendered illustrations, which require repeated viewings. Too long for the preschool/early-elementary set and appearing at first glance to be too young for the chapter-book readers, it fails to fit easily into familiar categories, however. It may fare best among those children with a taste for the strange, eclectic and beautiful who have room in their brains for a little outsized creativity. Consider handing it to those kids with a penchant for the impossible. A beautiful affair that requires a special kind of audience. (Picture book. 7-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402766770
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Pages: 88
  • Sales rank: 157,307
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.70 (w) x 11.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 17 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 15, 2010

    Beautiful

    I purchased this item after seeing it on the shelf at the local BN. The artwork is simply adorable! I can just randomly pick a page and I will stare at its prettiness for a few minutes. My niece is getting a copy as well as my childhood best friend for Christmas, it is definitely cheap considering for $10.97, you get 89 pages of art and a glittery pink cover. :P This US edition is a lot bigger than the original, French publication (I loved it so much I had to buy the original version from Amazon France).

    P.S. I'm a 23 year old woman.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2010

    Wildly fantastical, artful and intelligent.

    The art in this book is so amazing. I bought a copy for my niece, but I plan to buy one for myself, too. The art and storytelling made me feel like I'm never too old to imagine life as a princess.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    My daughter loved this book.

    She has a wide array of reading selections. She is now reading a book called, Smitty's Cave Adventures. It's a great book!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2014

    A princess for everyone

    The illustrations alone are Superb ant the different lives are sure to fit most princesses you know. I have gifted this book to young and old and I have one for myself. Just wonderful!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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