Title: The Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool | Author: PJ LaRue | Illustrator: Aristides Rodriguez | Publication Date: June 28, 2014 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 63 | Recommended Ages: 5 to 10
Book Description: Join Exciting Princess Adventures and Learn Life Lessons Along the Way
Have you ever wanted to ride a dolphin or dreamed of playing on a rainbow as if it were a waterslide? How would you feel if someone tried to kidnap you, and you were forced to move to Hawai’i to hide and live with people you don’t know? That happened to Harmonie. Come meet Harmonie, her new Mystic Princess friends, and find out what happens when her enemies, the Children of Ares, find her again.
My Thoughts: On Coral’s birthday, she and her three friends discover a secret about their identity. They are “Mystic Princesses”, each endowed with special powers stemming from the elements.
As the water element, Coral has powers over the ocean and its creatures and can help her friends breathe under water. Janna is the earth element and can control the land and its animals. Plus, she can turn herself and her friends into flowers. Catie is the air element and can make rainbow slides in the sky and can turn herself and her friends into birds. Finally, Breanna is the fire element and can turn her friends into candlelight and create fireballs as a tool. Together, the girls must protect another of their own from the Children of Ares: Harmonie, a young girl who, as the daughter of Aphrodite, has the gift of peace and love.
As the girls learn to use and control their powers, the author takes the opportunity to share a number of life lessons which may be important to the target audience (tween girls). These include learning about the importance of practicing new skills and the consequences of over-confidence (i.e., failure) as well as lessons on modesty (i.e., not thinking you are more skilled than you actually are). I also thought it was great that the author proposed a unique method of self-defense; namely, talking through differences to explain individual points of view and to prevent the escalation of an argument. There were many important lessons spelled out in the story.
The Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool features strong female role models in the main characters; many important life lessons for the target audience; and the promise of great adventure in the books to come. I did feel that this book is very much an introduction to the characters and to the overall plot. It is clear that the author has the next few books planned out and I’d like to see what will happen next and how the girls will work together using their magical powers to thwart the Children of Ares from capturing Harmonie.
The action moves along quickly and the chapters are short, making this book a great choice for emerging readers. That being said, I did feel that sometimes the story moved along a bit too quickly and I found myself wanting more details and for the pace to be a bit slower. But then, I’m an adult. A child just getting into chapter books might find the pacing just right. For that reason, I would recommend this book to tween girls just starting to read chapter books; those looking for stories featuring strong and confident girls; and/or families looking for a good read-aloud story. Ages 5 to 10.
* I received a copy of this book from Amazon on a “free day”. All opinions expressed are my own. The author is participating in our Book Promotion services.
More Buzz About the Book
“The Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool has a delightful plot. P. J. LaRue uses mythological characters to tell a lively story of bravery and friendship. The book teaches important lessons on strengths and weaknesses, conservation and safety. This is the first book in the Mystic Princesses series, and I cannot wait for the next princesses’ adventure to come. Young girls will love The Mystic Princesses adventure on their bedside table.” ~ Kelly Santana, Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews
“A lovely book for children with colourful pictures and any child who reads it will be looking for a sequel.” ~ 5 Star Review, Diane, Amazon
“‘The Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool’ is a confidence boosting book for children, giving them important information. It is the first in a series and I look forward to reading more about Harmonie and her friends.” ~ 5 Star Review, Mary C., Goodreads
“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.” ~ 5 Star Review, Barbara M., Amazon
“The short chapters would make this ideal for younger girls who are newer to reading Chapter Books. The colourful illustrations are excellent, and compliment this warm story nicely. A new series for girls, offering a fun way to learn valuable life lessons.” ~ 5 Star Review, M.J. Kinsmen, Amazon
About the Author: PJ LaRue
PJ LaRue wrote poetry in high school, but she discovered writing children’s books and short stories later in life. Her writing inspirations are hiking, photography and environmental consciousness, but she links these interests to much larger social issues. A person very close to PJ was molested as a child, making PJ passionate about providing child safety tips. And, PJ was bullied in the third grade by girls much larger than she, who demanded that PJ give them her lunch money. As a result, PJ is committed to spreading the word that bullying must be stopped.
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About the Illustrator: Aristides Rodriguez
Aristides Rodriguez has worked with clients to create websites, social media graphics, print graphics, and logos. His print media projects include cards, posters and magazine ads. He is comfortable working with a team, but has also designed client projects independently. While in school, Aristides participated in job shadows to Central Florida design community members including Disney Event Group, Orlando, SeaWorld, Orlando, and large offset and digital printing companies. Currently, Aristides is a Winter Park Tech Advisory Board member.
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