Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Such a Prince
Written by Dan Bar-el
Illustrated by John Manders
Clarion Books, 2007
Libby Gaborchick, local fairy, suggests to the king that all his sick daughter, Princess Vera, really needs is to eat three perfect peaches. That's all--nothing too fancy. "As fairies, go, I'm not the flashy kind," says Libby. "Glass slippers and pumpkin carriages are just not my style."
The classic tale of "The Three Perfect Peaches" is given a smart and funny twist in this telling by Bar-el, who uses the witty Libby Gaborchick as the narrator. Poor skinny Marvin tries his best to marry the lovesick Princess Vera. The pesky king, though, keeps foiling Marvin's plans. But no matter, Marvin has Libby on his side, and together they outsmart the king and queen and win the princess's hand. Like the cover promises, "Happy Ending Inside!"
Storyteller Bar-el lends a wry tone to this first person narrative that simply begs to be read aloud. The wild and woolly John Manders is at his best here, too, with plenty of crazy rabbits and doleful donkeys to keep readers laughing (we especially love the close-up of the queen's ample derriere). We think this book is absolutely perfect for Reader's Theater, but we're sure clever teachers and librarians can think of many more activities. Peach pie, anyone?