Monday, 19 March 2012

Never Say NO To a Princess by Tracey Corderoy & Kate Leake

A fun and feisty princess picture book served up with a good helping of adventure, friendship and finally...manners!  The little princess wants her own dragon and no one Ever says NO to a princess, do they?

We meet the young princess as she's in the process of demanding a variety of things and because her parents, the King and Queen are too busy doing royal things, they are happy to instruct servants to give her what she wants.  Her biggest threat to them is that if she doesn't get what she wants, she'll howl and cry and throw a tantrum.

When she sees a dragon, she demands that she should have one.  All manner of antics follow where the servants attempt to snag the dragon, but no joy.  This results in a huge crying spell for the princess and in fact, she cries so much, she floods the castle and the lands and gets swept out on a flood of tears into the dark scary woods.

She's more than JUST a bit scared but help is at hand, in the shape of the very same dragon she desperately wanted for herself.  The dragon is kindly, and the princess demands, quite rudely to be taken home, immediately.  Of course the dragon in turn demands the magic word and the princess is stumped.

Eventually she does figure out what the dragon means by the magic word and after spending the night with him, drying out and chatting, he flies her home.

The princess is reunited with her parents who notice something about her immediately.  She's no longer miserable, she's changed.  The princess dispatches an invitation to her friend and invites the friend to a party and behold: the princess is happy and smiling.  Not only has she made a new friend, but she's also happy.

I loved Never Say NO to a Princess.  The artwork is fresh and cute and full of mad sparkles, and gives us the idea of chaos this princess' life is all about - what she demands, she gets, no questions asked.  She's rude, arrogant, and has no manners.  Yet it takes a run-in with a fearsome monster who has far better manners than her, to teach her this lesson, someone to stand up to her, ignoring the wailing and the bad manners.

Smart and funky, Never Say NO to a Princess, is a great read for readers 3+.  The lesson is pretty obvious but done in a very charming way so that even as an adult, I didn't felt preached to.  Which I think is a great lesson to learn: being polite makes you a better person and invariably makes you friends.

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