Such a Prince

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An opinionated, love-starved princess. Her status-conscious parents. Two muscular, but rude, hunks. Their kind, thoughtful brother. Three not-so-perfect peaches. An impossible challenge. And a whole lot of rabbits!
Told from the point of view of a very untraditional fairy, this hilarious version of "The Three Peaches" shines a new light on the traditional tale and features a unique narrative voice and madcap illustrations. As in all good fairy tales, the vain, rude characters ...

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Overview

An opinionated, love-starved princess. Her status-conscious parents. Two muscular, but rude, hunks. Their kind, thoughtful brother. Three not-so-perfect peaches. An impossible challenge. And a whole lot of rabbits!
Told from the point of view of a very untraditional fairy, this hilarious version of "The Three Peaches" shines a new light on the traditional tale and features a unique narrative voice and madcap illustrations. As in all good fairy tales, the vain, rude characters get their comeuppance, the fairy works her magic, and the princess gets her prince. So he's a little on the skinny side—he has a big heart. (The heart is a muscle too, you know.) Everything else is fair game in this side-splitting take on the classic formula.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Bar-el adds plenty of shtick to his retelling of ... 'Three Perfect Peaches'.... A very funny rendition." Kirkus Reviews

A fun purchase for libraries in which funny fairy tales are popular.
School Library Journal

A harebrained joke but a good one.
Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly

Happy ending inside!" reads a burst on the cover of this loopy send-up of a familiar story line about winning the hand of a princess. On the way to that happy ending, Bar-el's (Alphabetter) snappy text and Manders's (Quiet Night) animated, playfully exaggerated gouache and colored pencil pictures provide plenty of laughs. The narrator is a feisty fairy named Libby Gaborchik, rendered as a bespectacled white-haired type, who refers to herself as "yours truly," addresses readers as "darlings" and speaks with a hint of a Jewish-grandmother inflection. She diagnoses the ailing Princess Vera as "starved for love" and advises the distraught king that his daughter should eat three perfect peaches and then marry within a week. But not liking the manners of some of Vera's suitors ("This is the way to talk to a stranger?" Libby comments disapprovingly), Libby decides to help goodhearted but poor Marvin. Among the book's many pleasingly silly scenarios are Manders's vignette of the wide-eyed, wild-haired princess dancing a fandango after devouring Marvin's peaches and a large picture of that soon-to-be prince following through on the king's orders to coral 100 wild rabbits. A harebrained joke, but a good one. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature
AGERANGE: Ages 3 to 7.

The Canadian storyteller Dan Bar-el brings his verbal showmanship to the page in this exuberant version of the old fairy godmother/ailing princess/poor and downtrodden but considerate youngest son tale. Oi! Only dig in and read all about it from the very lips of Libby Gaborchik, Yiddish fairy godmother extraordinaire. Bar-el has great fun with the dialogue ("Such a mouth!") and the story races right along as the nebbishy young Marvin waits for his chance at love and loot ever after with Princess Vera. John Manders' gouache and colored pencil illustrations are as lively as the unfolding story. Do keep your eyes on the one hundred appearing and disappearing rabbits that become part of the king's plot to keep Marvin from winning Vera. Will Marvin be able to herd the rabbits to the king's satisfaction? Will he be able to keep them out of the pot? Will the king ever get around to keeping his promise? "Cute" is what this is, and kids should love it. Reviewer: Kathleen Karr

School Library Journal

K-Gr 2
This fractured version of the French fairy tale "Three May Peaches" is narrated by a gray-haired, busybody fairy with tabloid flair. Libby Gaborchik diagnoses the very sick Princess Vera as starved for love. The prescription is simple; the princess must eat three perfect peaches and then marry within the week. Eligible bachelors throughout the kingdom begin picking the fruit and heading for the castle. Gaborchik valiantly helps to waylay and weed out the most ill-mannered of the prospects, but she gives one guy-a poor, skinny fellow with a big heart-some extra help. One so naive and so simple certainly needs help getting past the king to win the princess's hand! The text is fun to read aloud, and Gaborchik's comical and slightly narcissistic personality brings a lot of punch to the story. ("A joke, darlings, a joke! Libby Gaborchik is just making a small joke. Laughing is good for your health. Trust me, I'm a fairy. I know these things.") The gouache and colored-pencil cartoon illustrations are also full of humor and capture the exaggerated energy of the story. Unfortunately, the original tale is not credited. Still, this is a fun purchase for libraries in which funny fairy tales are popular.
—Julie RoachCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Bar-el adds plenty of shtick to his retelling of a folk tale sometimes called "Three Perfect Peaches." He gives over the narrator's role to Libby Gaborchik, a fairy who prescribes three peaches to "cure" lovesick princess Vera, then helps young peasant lad Marvin to deliver the produce (unlike his hulking brothers Sheldon and Harvey), and to outsmart the king when he tries to torpedo the marriage by making Marvin responsible for a herd of rabbits. Playing clear homage to '50s-style Disney cartoons, Manders's comical illustrations pair a swain of Ichabod Crane-like skinniness and a red-haired princess with a tendency to leap about exuberantly-rather like the hordes of long-eared, pop-eyed white rabbits that bound all over the landscape, until they're recalled by the magic whistle that Libby provides. In the end, the king surrenders, Vera sweeps Marvin off his feet and Libby closes with a small joke, because, "Laughing is good for your health. Trust me, I'm a fairy. I know these things." A very funny rendition equally suited to reading or telling. Trust me. (Picture book/fairy tale. 6-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618714681
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/15/2007
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.75 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN MANDERS has illustrated more than a dozen award-winning books for children, including Humphrey, Albert, and the Flying Machine by Kathryn Lasky. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You can visit his website at www.johnmanders.com.

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