Being a princess doesn’t inoculate one from getting into a rut, as Coh’s terribly bored heroine, Princess Antonia, and her well-known princess peeps discover: “Cinderella was always busy cleaning.... Rapunzel never left her tower.... Snow White constantly had her hands full.... And Sleeping Beauty was always too tired.” So Antonia and her friends decide to run away—not to flee permanently (“After all, who was going to tuck them into bed?”), but rather to literally run and experience the thrill of physical exertion in the great outdoors. It’s so revelatory that afterward Rapunzel cuts her hair into a trendsetting bob, Cinderella becomes a fashion designer, Sleeping Beauty discovers yoga, Snow White becomes a cross-country runner, and Antonia finds new appreciation for what she has. Coh’s (I Have a Sister) feisty doll-like characters run in full princess regalia through an array of whimsical environments, conjured up out of fairy-tale tropes and collaged elements. The story bubbles with irreverent, girly fun and a lighthearted, let’s-give-it-a-whirl spirit that may be just the encouragement real-life couch potato princesses need to get moving. Ages 4–8. Agent: the Bright Agency. (May)
"A prettily conceived and executed design, a decorative Eastern European sensibility and a fairly unconventional storyline make Princess Antonia stand out among the current crop of princesses."
"The story bubbles with irreverent, girly fun and a lighthearted, let’s-give-it-a-whirl spirit that may be just the encouragement real-life couch potato princesses need to get moving."
"Coh combines digital and traditional art forms, using fabric and textures in unique ways. Young aspiring princesses are sure to giggle as the fairy tale characters follow Antonia—and those same readers should find the ending satisfying . . ."
PreS-Gr 2—Antonia is a spoiled princess with lots of toys, books, fancy dresses, and the latest technology-yet she is bored and lonely. When she escapes her fancy bedroom in the castle and goes outside, she discovers freedom. She stops to pick up her friends Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel. The girls all enjoy being outside as more fairytale characters and creatures join them. They run until they reach the sea and can go no farther. When the friends go home, each one changes her lifestyle. The book's messages are clear: material possessions alone will not make people happy; kids shouldn't give in to drudgery; and readers should get outside and play. This pleasantly designed title will entice the princess-obsessed with its pink and gold cover, and the mixed-media illustrations are generally pleasing to the eye. Occasionally, though, there are inconsistencies: the cartoon-style figures sometimes look very young and at other times like older teens, and though the setting appears to be a typical fairy-tale world, there are computers and smart phones. Larger libraries that cannot keep pink princess books on the shelf may want to consider this one, but it is not a must-have for most collections.—Angela J. Reynolds, Annapolis Valley Regional Library, Bridgetown, NS, Canada
A prettily conceived and executed design, a decorative Eastern European sensibility and a fairly unconventional storyline make Princess Antonia stand out among the current crop of princesses. Antonia has toys, gowns and "the largest book collection in the entire kingdom" but finds herself unaccountably bored. Her friends always seem to be busy: Rapunzel's in her tower, Cinderella's cleaning, Snow White's coping with a household full of dwarves, and Sleeping Beauty's always tired. One day, Antonia simply runs out of the castle, out of town and into the forest. She finds that all of her friends decided to escape that day, too. Soon, all five princesses are joined by Little Red Riding Hood and a whole bevy of forest denizens. After they reach the sea, each returns home, energized: Rapunzel bobs her hair, Sleeping Beauty learns to practice yoga, and Antonia decides to take her elephant (!) out to run, too. This winsome, slight tale gains strength from its collaged, computer-manipulated illustrations. There are floral patterns and furbelows galore. Geometrically formed bodies have pipestem limbs, faces sport comma-and–polka-dot features, and some amazing curlicues of red, blonde, brown and black hair sprout from these girls' heads. The bedizened, rose-colored cover will be enough to lure in young readers, and the rather formless storyline might even get them thinking. (Picture book. 4-7)