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.
A spirited princess rebels against an arranged marriage to a prince across the sea in this satisfying tale. "I will never, never, never marry any prince but the prince I choose for myself," she says. "I'd rather be washed overboard in a storm at sea" and when her parents accompany her on a ship to wed, that's just what happens: She's cast ashore in a strange kingdom. Dressed in the sailor clothes she finds in a trunk, she learns that a prize is being offered to the storyteller who can tell the prince a story whose ending he has never heard. The disguised princess uses the tale of her ocean adventure to capture the prize, reveal her identity and win his heart (of course, it turns out that he was her intended all along). Martin's (The Rough-Face Girl) story-within-a-story device works like an old campfire tale, and even though readers may guess the ending, they'll want to see how the royals get there. Root's (When the Whippoorwill Calls) finely worked, lapis-and-gold watercolors recall illuminated manuscripts, commenting on the literate protagonists as well as their Old World setting. Readers will likely cotton to this princess, who stands up to authority and tells great stories to boot and no mention is made anywhere of her beauty. Ages 5-up.
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.
hardcover, 32 pages, color signed by author, mint in dj