Posts tagged ‘princess’

INSIDE OUT

THE LADYBUG PRINCESS

Written by Julie Schoen

Illustrated by Marina Veselinovic

theladybugprincesspic

Charming early chapter book that relates the tale of a little girl who loves picking flowers, hearing birds sing, and the beauty of nature. Audrey adores her parents and they support her. On a rainy day, Audrey often dresses up in her mothers fancy clothes and jewelry, while pretending that she is a beautiful princess. When Audrey is old enough for school, her mother encourages her to dress as she wishes so Audrey appears at school on her first day dressed as a princess. An older student makes fun of her; Audrey races to the farthest point in the playground to hide. A swarm of ladybugs cover her from head to toe and speak to Audrey. They tell her that beauty does not exist solely in outward appearance like the clothes she wears. Audrey is a beautiful princess because she sees the good in others and expresses her goodness in the love that she shows other people. As long as Audrey loves life and expresses herself in the same way toward others, she will always remain a princess. Audrey learns how to deal with bullies, not to overvalue material things, and the importance of self-esteem.

A few creative illustrations enhance the beauty of the message in this short chapter book that is appropriate for beginning readers in the seven and up age group. Highly recommended for parents and teachers to boost self-confidence.

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PRINCESS POWER

The Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool, 2nd Edition

Written by P.J. La Rue

Illustrated by Aristides Rodriguez

MysticPrincesses,pic

Harmonie and Eros are teenage sister and brother living in New York City. One day a group of teenagers on a subway platform attempt to kidnap Harmonie. Mysteriously, they bear the same tattoo as her brother on their arm. Eros reveals a family secret. They are children of Ares, the god of war, whose children are tattooed at one year old. Most of the children of Ares strive to make life difficult for others, but he is the god of love and Harmonie is the goddess of peace. Their mother, the goddess Aphrodite, whisked Harmonie away before the age of one and gave her to Eros for protection. Eros is determined to safeguard her and tells her they must now live apart to avoid detection.

Eros has arranged for his sister to live in Hawaii. She will live and go to school with four princesses.  Each have special powers derived from one of the four elements, earth, air, water and fire. This new group of five decide to call themselves the Mystic Princesses. Alongside the traditional school subjects, they are taught self-defense by Sandi Swordfish. In the afternoon the girls practice their individual powers, always on the watch for their enemies, children of Ares.

Sure enough, Ares was getting impatient; his children find their way to Hawaii. They cause much damage around Coral’s reef castle. Her parents King Neptune and Queen Pearl decide that all the princesses must move for their own safety. Their next adventure will take them to New Orleans where they will live with Princess Catie and her parents. What new adventures await them?

This early chapter book is perfect for children ages six through ten. It does not portray wimpy princesses, but strong, respectful and independent female role models involved in many adventures in which they learn to overcome their weaknesses, act against bullying, and cooperate with friends and family to promote human welfare and peace. Short chapters interspersed with illustrations will maintain interest if the book is read aloud for younger children. Introduce your little princess to this one.

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BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

Hannah and the Kingdom of Bugbears

Written by Tom Steephen

Hannanandthekingdompic

This rather short fantasy adventure of approximately seventy five pages attempts to pack a lot of elements into one story. There are classic fairy tales, witches, soldiers, princes, even animal heroes like mice, penguins and parrots. Strange combination but the story does work for the most part. The language is not complicated though at times a bit forced. There are enough twists and turns to keep a young reader on the edge of his seat, and adults could make this a really exciting read aloud for a young child.

Hannah, our heroine, is the loyal companion of Princess Aleena who has just turned eighteen and is about to marry Prince Ronald of Linesland. Suddenly, the Bugbear army of Prince Brewer appears outside the gates of the castle. They inform King John that their Prince Brewer will marry the princess. The humans of the kingdom of Cait Berg are unable to subdue their scaly and much larger Bugbear enemies. King John’s army is defeated, and the princess is abducted. Hannah manages to sneak away and hide in the carriage transporting the princess. After many trials and tribulations, Hannah finds the princess, who is locked in one of the chambers of the castle. But the princess urges her to go back to their kingdom and get help to rescue her. Hannah bravely consents. She will meet many animal friends and enemies like a witch who tries to prevent her return. Once Hannah arrives home at the castle, she needs to concoct a strategy to rescue the princess from her dilemma.

Why does Prince Brewer want to marry a human princess? The reader does not find out until near the end of the adventure. In the interim many of the characters in the story like Chef Maatia and Prince Brewer learn a lot about themselves and others. Many moral lessons like the value of trust, loyalty, determination and being true to oneself are embedded in the tale.

Most early chapter readers and tweens will find familiar and popular threads in the tale. Seems to be just the right mixture of adventure, fantasy, fairy tale, battle scenes, danger and moral lessons that do not come off as adult preaching. A nice book to spend a couple of hours reading.

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ABSURD ADVENTURE

Jellybean the Dragon

Written by Elias Zapple

Illustrated by Jade Young and Ilaeira Misirlou

NewJellybeanthedragon, pic

In this eBook short story we meet Emma, a ten year old orphan who lives in a castle plunked down in a forest of make believe fruit trees. Her parents died when they ate too many carrots in an eating contest, which left her sole ruler of the land of trees and pet crocodiles. Emma is no ordinary little girl, she has already completed training as an astronaut and has her own spaceship.

One day a red and green flying dragon crashes down and burns a mango tree in the process. The townspeople are angry that he has destroyed this tree so Emma rescues the dragon by squeezing him into her rocket and flying him home to his planet named Hoppity, next to Dino, far into space beyond the planet Neptune. The reader is introduced to facts about the planets as each of them is passed along on the journey to Hoppity. Her dragon friend gives her the gift of a magical plant that will grow all kinds of treasure.

Once they arrive on the ground, Emma also finds a cool reception. The dragon townspeople led by Nixon sentence her to fifty years in prison. Jelly puts her in his mouth and rescues her once more and flies her on his back to another planet named Earth. Here Emma befriends Miss Tickler, the talking cat. Jelly’s twin Cyril is as Jelly puts it, “his stupid brother.” Soon, strange vibrations occur. The dragons know there will be an earthquake soon. Emma and her friends escape in the nick of time.

She is transported to Zanu where she meets the dragon king named King Buttercup. Here Emma is finally welcomed. The king desires to make her a princess and showers her with gifts. Emma wants no part of this; she tells him that she wants to be, Emma the Guitarist. The king will agree only if Emma participates in a competition with their best guitarist, Fillmore. Fillmore is known there as, “Les Paul of Dragons.” Emma spends lots of time practicing her riffs only to discover from Jelly that this competition has a catch. The loser must have his arms chopped off and stay away from the planet Zanu forever. What a dilemma! If Emma loses where will she find a home and how will she survive?

You will have to read the story to see who wins the competition and what happens to Emma, Fillmore and the rest of her dragon friends. As you may have guessed, there are lots of incongruities in the story and the humor is the type that appeals to the middle grade reader. For example, the author talks about, “other works by This Dude,” and mentions in the preview of soon to be released books, “coming soon to a bathroom near you.” I like the glossary which includes more difficult vocabulary words like malfunctioned, imprisoned, scythe, and made up terms like orangeness. Children are also introduced to some information about the planets and space travel. This eBook is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

Please note that at the request of the author, I have updated the cover and illustrator information that have changed since I originally read and reviewed this post several months ago.

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A PRINCESS WITH PIZAZZ!

Sir Princess Petra: The Pen Pieyu Adventures

Written by Diane Mae Robinson

SirPrincessPetrapicAs the story opens, we meet Princess Petra who is about to celebrate her birthday on the ninth day of the ninth month on the ninth year. According to royal custom, she may request anything she wishes as a birthday gift. Petra addresses her parents and informs them that she is tired of the usual gifts of jewelry and clothes. This year she wants to become a royal knight. Her father, King Longstride cannot find anything disallowing her request in the royal rulebook. However, she must choose and successfully accomplish one of three acts of royal bravery: capture a crocodile and make his skin into a royal leather chair, quiet the howling dragon named Snarls who lives in the Forest of Doom, or eat a roomful of raw onions! The princess dislikes onions and is friendly with the kingdom’s crocodile, so she quickly decides on quieting the dragon.

Princess Petra departs the castle in a suit of armor made of pots and pans because all the royal armor is too big for her. Her weapon looks more like a cake knife than a sword. The poor princess soon meets adversity. During her adventures, she must figure out how to stop the dragon from howling and keeping the royal family awake, cope with a witch in the bog, and deal with an army of knights from a neighboring kingdom who want to challenge her. This princess has brains and common sense along with her beauty. She does not win her battles with force and bullying; Petra is a good judge of character and human nature! (even if some of those characters are not technically human)  She has a wonderful sense of humor and can turn adversity into advantage.

Petra provides an outstanding role model for young boys and girls for she has many lessons of courage, friendship and character to teach them. She and the other quirky characters in this book possess a delightful sense of humor. The black and white pencil drawings are soft and subtle complementing the quick moving text of this short chapter book which could be read in one sitting as a read aloud or in chapters for discussion in a classroom setting. Looking forward to reading more of The Pen Pieyu Adventures from this talented new author.

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BOYS BOOKS?…. or maybe not so much

Five Fun Rhyming Boys Stories: Best Sellers Collection

by: Lily Lexington

5FunRhymingBoysStoriescover

This review is being done on the Kindle edition of five of Lily Lexington’s most popular stories. They are advertised as being boy’s stories, but I would not restrict them to one gender. While the themes of the books are traditionally viewed as male, the lessons imparted can be absolutely applied to both sexes.

In the first story, Danny is a geeky nerd whose wish it is to be a hero. As soon as his mother leaves his bedside, Danny becomes a knight who must slay beasts and rescue a princess. Only the princess proves to be anything but a damsel in distress!  Danny learns a lot about friendship.

The second book features a boy named Jack and his dinosaur friend who does not like to eat vegetables. Of course Jack does not eat them in support of his friend. When mom decides there is nothing else in the house to eat but vegetables, Jack and his dinosaur go about their day at play and learn important lessons about good nutrition.

In the third book we meet two very competitive brothers who both have dinosaur pets. They have planned a great race riding on their dinosaurs. When trouble arises, they each think that they have a better solution, but to their surprise neither of them can win alone. Will they be able to save themselves and solve the problem?

Six pirate friends are the characters in the fourth book. Though close friends each of them have very different personalities. They could not agree where to sail their pirate ship. Worse than that, the pirates had run out of food! So the wise pirate finally takes matters into his own hands and sets sail while the rest sleep. When they awake in a strange place, they will have to learn a valuable lesson if they are going to survive.

The last selection features Billy; a brave little cowboy who does not like to bathe. He goes to bed and rides his horse to rescue a little girl’s cat. The poor cat has been trapped in the bank by a smelly bank robber! Will he be successful in his quest and what price will Billy have to pay?

All of the stories are written in rhyme. Preschool children will enjoy them being read aloud. Older children in the primary grades should be able to manage reading them independently. These books are a good choice for parents with siblings of different ages. Illustrations are simple, colorful, clear and explicit, displaying exactly the messages that the characters wish to impart.

This is a fun collection and a good investment.

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