Thursday, January 24, 2013

Princess in Training by Tammi Sauer; illustrated by Joe Berger

“Viola Louise Hassenfeffer is not an ordinary princess.” She loves to skateboard, dive into the moat, and karate chop. Her parents are not amused . Viola really wants to be a proper princess, but she just doesn’t know how.

When Viola receives an invitation to Princess Camp she is thrilled. At last she’ll learn useful skills, like waving, waltzing, and walking like a princess should. More importantly, when she finishes camp, she’ll be “the darling” of her kingdom!

Illustrator Joe Berger uses princess pink and shades of orange, gold, and purple throughout to convey a gentile, royal atmosphere for the princesses as they practice. Berger effectively uses big splashes of color and stars, stripes and dots in these same colors, along with big white sound effect words—like SPLASH, and ZIP! ZIP! ZOOM! when Princess Viola livens things up.

Princess Viola knows she’s a failure at being a princess. But at the Royal Bash Princess Viola quickly jumps in to subdue a huge threatening green dragon. She uses her own skills and becomes “the darling” of her kingdom—just not in the usual way.

Let your little princess know that it is okay to be herself, even if she never gets a chance to vanquish a dragon. After reading Princess in Training, try some of the Virginia Beach Public Library's other picture books about individuality. Look for Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae, I’m Not by Pam Smallcomb and The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse by Eric Carle.

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