Saturday, June 5, 2010

Kid Konnection: The Secret Lives of Princesses

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a (hopefully) regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. I recently discovered a wonderful new book for young girls called THE SECRET LIVES OF PRINCESSES!

Summary: o 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. -- Sterling

Ever since I heard the premise behind the new book THE SECRET LIVES OF PRINCESSES by Philippe Lechermeier and illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer, I was interested. Of course, Booking Daughter went through the "everything princess" stage a few years back; but I still hold a special place in my heart for princess stories. And when I learned that THE SECRET LIVES OF PRINCESSES offers a unique twist on princesses, I just knew it was a book for me!

I absolutely love the idea of this book. Everyone knows the famous princesses like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and my favorite Belle, but there are a whole bunch of princesses that have been hidden for years. In THE SECRET LIVES OF PRINCESSES, the reader learns all about these "unknown, anonymous, and vanished princesses." And the reader gets to see their "behind-the-scenes stories and secret lives."

Probably the first thing that struck me about THE SECRET LIVES OF PRINCESSES is that it is absolutely gorgeous. It guess I'd describe it as a picture book, but it's not your typical picture book. It's actually a coffee-table sized book filled with beautiful pictures of these not-so-traditional princesses. Each page is filled with striking illustrations as well as information about princesses. It's almost like a mini-manual with data and interesting tidbits about princesses. I can imagine young girls (and their moms) looking through these vivid pictures over and over again!

The text in this book is surprisingly witty. In fact, much of the humor will be lost on small children; however, tweens and parents will find themselves laughing a great deal at the tongue-in-cheek humor. I found the writing to be smart and extremely creative, and I loved how the author presented not only information on the hidden princesses but also cleared up for me much of the confusion about the traditional ones.

The princesses in this book aren't perfect. In fact, many of them have less than desirable qualities -- much like real people! Imagine that? But regardless of the princess, they are all individuals and very unique -- and they definitely don't cave into peer pressure. Princess Somnia loves to sleep and doesn't do more than she has to, Princess Alli Fabette can't spell, Princess Babbling Brooke talks too much, etc. I think you get the idea.

In addition to presenting all of these "hidden" princesses, the book also gives the readers information about the everyday happenings in a princess's life. For example, the book tells about etiquette, voyages, princess pets, and secret gardens. Many of the explanations were extremely entertaining and include detailed drawings.

There is a wonderful website devoted to the book that is filled with some fun activities for little girls. You can learn more about the book, but you can also see photos of the princesses, play games, and take a personality quiz. In addition, you can even find out your very own princess name by typing in your name and hometown. And if you were lucky enough to get some of the princess trading cards, there is a place where you can enter your codes.

I definitely think young girls are going to love THE SECRET LIVES OF PRINCESSES and especially the new twist on traditional princess stories, but grown-ups will love the book too. I highly recommend sharing this book with a special "girl" in your life -- even if that girl is you!

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy of THE SECRET LIVES OF PRINCESSES.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!


Beth F said...

Oh gosh -- I forgot all about this book. I need to read it and send it to my little great-niece -- I bet she'd love it.

bermudaonion said...

This sounds like such a fun book and the cover is stunning. Sorry I didn't get anything read for your feature today. :(

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I'm interested in seeing this book. I won the cards but couldn't figure out what was going on!

Gerbera Daisy Mom said...

We were at B&N last night and my daughter picked up this book and sat in a corner for 1/2 hour! The illustrations are spectacular!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

So many books (and TV shows, like The Simpsons :) ) appeal to an older group, as well as the purported "target market". I think I'd enjoy reading this alongside younger daughter, and that we'd each get something different out of it.