The Storytelling Princess

The Storytelling Princess

4.5 2
by Rafe Martin, Kimberly Bulcken Root
     
 

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This princess may be lost, but she's not helpless. Swept overboard on the way to meet the prince her parents have chosen for her to marry, a princess seizes the opportunity to decide her own future and turns a twist of fate into a wildly entertaining adventure. Rafe Martin and Kimberly Bulcken Root combine their award-winning literary and visual talents in this

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Overview

This princess may be lost, but she's not helpless. Swept overboard on the way to meet the prince her parents have chosen for her to marry, a princess seizes the opportunity to decide her own future and turns a twist of fate into a wildly entertaining adventure. Rafe Martin and Kimberly Bulcken Root combine their award-winning literary and visual talents in this energetic and original celebration of storytelling, imagination, and destiny.

Illustrated by Kimberly Bulcken Root.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This fairy tale opens in two distant kingdoms where a prince and princess are each informed of pending marriages arranged by their parents. Neither is happy with the prospect, and they each vow to find a way around this tradition in order to marry for love. The prince agrees to marry his parent's choice only if his father can find a candidate who can tell him a story with a surprise ending. The princess is not so lucky; she is put onto a ship to be taken to her future groom without her consent. During a great storm, the princess falls overboard, but survives by clinging to a trunk and eventually washes up on land. Coincidentally, the kingdom she lands in is the home of the same prince she had been promised to by her father. The prince and princess find each other under their own terms, and they fall in love. Also, she is able to tell an amazing story that entrances the prince and leads to their marriage. This story contains the traditional elements of a fairytale and is accompanied by pencil and watercolor illustrations filled with detail. 2001, G.P. Putnam's Sons, $15.99. Ages 6 to 11. Reviewer: Carol Lynch
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-A prince who loves to read and a princess who craves adventure fly in the face of parental authority when informed of their arranged marriage, and declare that they will choose their own mates. Though the prince finally agrees to marry "someone who can tell me a story whose ending I don't know," the princess steadfastly proclaims, "I'd rather be washed overboard in a storm at sea." Fate (a storm at sea) intervenes and throws them together. They gradually come to admire one another, not knowing that each is the other's intended. Watercolor-and-pencil illustrations in subtle hues with highlights of gold and red cleverly capture the nature of the characters and the essence of the action. Broad borders frame the sweeping full-page scenes and extend the focus by incorporating complementary details. Small, jewel-like decorations ingeniously mirror the initial capital letter of key paragraphs within the text, underscoring the timeless tone of the tale. Recalcitrant princesses and princes who exhibit independence and spirit, such as these two, are becoming standard characters and are commanding their own niche in literature. Told in the language and structure of a traditional tale, the story has many motifs that will be familiar to readers who will, ironically, sense the ending to the story long before it is clear to the prince. That predictability is nonetheless genuinely satisfying, as there are enough elements of excitement and energy within the action and the telling to engage and maintain children's attention.-Starr LaTronica, Four County Library System, Vestal, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A tepid story about stories from a noted reteller of traditional tales. A bookish prince, upon being told of his betrothal, declares he will not marry the princess chosen for him unless someone tells him a story whose ending he does not know. Meanwhile, a spunky princess across the ocean, upon being told of her betrothal, declares that she would "rather be washed overboard in a storm at sea" than marry a prince she has not chosen for herself. Predictably enough, the princess is duly washed overboard, makes her way to the bookish prince's palace, tells him her story, and they fall in love, only to discover that each was the other's intended all along. There are a few high points: when the disguised princess tells—in the third person—of her miraculous survival clinging to a conveniently washed-over trunk, a skeptical prince declares, "You really expect me—a grown-up, intelligent, well-educated human being—to believe that . . . You should do more research!" Otherwise, however, Martin's (The Language of Birds, 2000) text seems to aim for a conspiratorial relationship with the reader but more often achieves only a certain self-referential smugness. Root (The Peddler's Gift, 1999) works to dramatize a story in which much of the action consists of characters sitting in a room and talking to each other. She stuffs each scene with books and cats and patterns and intriguing stylistic details, the action taking place in a center panel that appears to be laid on top of a larger framework. But while her warm pencil-and-watercolor illustrations do their best, they are ultimately unable to invest the characters with enough personality to lift the story. An inside joke betweenbook and reader that just isn't funny enough. (Picture book. 5-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142500859
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
05/26/2003
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.13(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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From the Publisher
"Readers will likely cotton to this princess, who stands up to authority and tells great stories to boot..." -Publishers Weekly

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