About the Book
Title: The Princess Fables | Author: Marc Clark | Illustrator: Eric Hosford | Publication Date: December 5, 2013 | Publisher: Seven C’s Productions | Pages: 115 | Recommended Ages: 3+
Summary: The Origins of THE PRINCESS FABLES: When the author’s daughter was just beginning the first grade, she was not happy about school. So when he would wake her each morning, whatever she would say to get out of going became the subject for a PRINCESS FABLE. If she’d say, “I don’t want to,” he’d make up a tale about The Princess Who Always Said, “I Don’t Wanna”. If she pulled the covers over her head, he’d tell her the story of The Princess Who Hid Under The Covers. By the end of each Fable he’d have her dressed and ready for school, with her eyes wide open and full of hope…
THE PRINCESS FABLES are eleven inspirational stories for young girls who may still dream of being a Princess. Each Princess embarks on an adventure of self discovery and along the way, learns about the importance of trust, devotion, courage and the power of love. These classic tales transport little girls to a time and place where they are the heroines and can create their own happy endings.
Every delicate pen and ink illustration reflects the classic fairy tale drawings of the late 19th century.
Award: The Princess Fables was just awarded an Honorable Mention at the 2014 Los Angeles Book Festival.
1. What is the book about? This book has stories about princesses who have certain habits but then realize that the habits are really bad at the end of the story. So, they change the way they act.
2. What do you think of the book cover and the images inside the book? I liked the cover and the pictures in the book. My favorite one is the cover for the story “The Princess Who Hid Under the Covers” because it’s cute.
3. Which was your favorite story and why? My favorite story was “The Princess Who Always Said Hey” because the relationship between the girl and the boy was interesting.
4. Do you recognize yourself in any of these princesses? I used to a bit like the Princess Who Always Said “Not Today”, because I used to say “I’ll do it later”.
5. What are some of the things you learned from the book? One lesson I learned is that you should face your fears and when you take the time to learn about something, you are not as afraid. I also learned that giving away things feels better than receiving things (“The Princess Who Never Let Go”). I learned that it’s important to listen when people talk and to think before you speak or act (“The Princess Who Never Spoke”). There is a lesson in each of the stories.
6. Overall, what did you think about the book? I thought the book was good and I liked how there were lots of stories and we could read one every night before bed. I give it5 out of 5 stars.
7. Who do you think would like this book? I would recommend this book to girls who are 6 years and up who like princesses and princess stories.
My Thoughts: The Princess Fables is a collection of short stories reminiscent of classic fairy tales such as those penned by Hans Christian Andersen or the Brothers Grimm (without the “grim”), where the main character has an important life lesson to learn. Each story features a different princess (e.g., “The Princess Who Always Said ‘No'”; “The Princess Who Always Said ‘Not Today'”; “The Princess Who Wouldn’t Wake Up”, etc.) each of who must learn to give up their childish ways of behaving in order to blossom and grow into more loving, trusting, and selfless individuals. Each story is based on the author’s experiences with his young daughter, and I’m sure that parents will recognize their own child in one or more of these princesses.
For as long as I can remember, I have not been a fan of short stories. I prefer to get immersed into a story filled with endless detail, witnessing the characters’ growth as the plot slowly unfolds. With my children, I have always enjoyed reading a chapter or two per night leaving them hanging in the story, anticipating what will happen next. The Princess Fables has converted me. My children and I LOVED this format. Each story begins with a beautifully detailed pencilled illustration of the princess and is roughly 8 to 10 pages long (15 to 20 minutes). In other words, I could read 1 (or 2 stories if they begged enough) per night leaving them contemplating the main message of the individual story. FABULOUS!
Each story follows the same formula, giving it a feel for classic fairytale storytelling by a narrator. The stories begin with a “Once upon a time…” (or something similar). The princess is then introduced and her physical appearance and general setting is described. Then, we learn what the “problem” is (e.g., saying no, not getting out of bed, hoarding, grunting, etc.) and the narrator explains why it is a problem. Each story goes on to describe how the princess realizes that these childish behaviors lead to problems and therefore they change their behavior to their own benefit – ultimately learning an important life lesson. Like every fairytale, of course, we fast forward to the future to witness the happy ending.
For example, in “The Princess Who Was Too Scared”, we are introduced to Princess Stephanie who, as a result of being over-protected by her parents, is afraid of EVERYTHING (e.g., a new teacher, what might be hiding under her bed, cats, dogs, etc.). When “fate” intervenes (beautifully explained by the author) and the Queen becomes pregnant, Stephanie learns that knowledge is the best defence against fear. She takes on the role of collecting information about medicines, birthing, maternity care, and so on and finds that she can control her fear. She even goes on to help others with their births by opening up her own birthing clinic. The last paragraph in the story sums up the lesson beautifully:
Many times [the young mothers would] look up at her strong and giving face and whisper, “I’m scared.” “Of course you are,” she’d say, “because you’re smart. Fear is a gift we’re given to help us survive. It’s what brought you here, to the best place you can be. It’s what brought me here to help you. So we’ll both be afraid… and we’ll do it anyway.”
I was so pleased that the author included princesses from diverse ethnic backgrounds. For example, in The Princess Who Always Said, “Not Today”, Princess Marina is described as “a little raven-haired princess with warm brown skin and dark almond eyes”. In The Princess Who Grunted, Princess Maleeka has “the most beautiful brown skin and the deepest black eyes you’ve ever seen”. Unfortunately, what my children and I both noticed is that the illustrations of both of these princesses depicted fair-skinned, clearly Caucasian girls. I do hope that the author decides to swap in different illustrations for these two stories to reflect the diversity represented in the text.
My Bottom Line: The Princess Fables is a wonderful collection of eleven fairy tales each featuring a princess who has an important life lesson to learn. Parents will often recognize their own children in these thoroughly engaging, cleverly-written, read-aloud stories. I highly recommend this book as a bedtime book or a book that can be read to an early elementary school classroom. Ages 5+
* This book was provided to us by the author free-of-charge in exchange for our honest reviews. All opinions expressed are our own. The author is participating in our Book Promotion Services. *
More Buzz About The Book
In a recent review by the Island Waves publication, Trey Seal wrote, “The Princess Fables is a book that brings back the nostalgia of the classic fairytales from our youth and is highly recommended for young children.”
Excerpts From Amazon Reviews:
“Marvelously original, soulful, and witty tales! Modern fables with funny and moving twists. I hope these stories make their way to kids everywhere!”
“What a beautifully illustrated and well-written book.”
“A charming and witty read, with stunning illustrations. The Princess is adorable and the book conveys a very positive image for little girls.”
“Great read for the little princess in us all!”
About the Author: Marc Clark
Marc Clark is the author of several plays and screenplays, a writer and producer of commercials, promos and television content. Marc is the father of two and currently resides in Manhattan.
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* $50 Book Blast Giveaway *
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Contest ends: May 27, 11:59 pm, 2014
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