"They have been hidden so well, some no longer even know themselves. But now all will be revealed -- the behind-the-scenes stories and secret lives of the world's unknown, anonymous, and vanished princesses."
The Secret Lives of Princesses by Philippe Lechermeier, illustrated by Rébecca Dautremer. Sterling (June 2010); ISBN 9781402766770; 88 pages
(Book Source: Advance Reader Copy from publisher)
A definitive guide for unusual princesses, The Secret Lives of Princesses highlights a few familiar and several not-so-familiar royal characters. Originally published in France with the title of Princesses oubliées ou inconnues, this princess album is one to pour and ponder over. The extravagantly illustrated pages contain well over 25 princesses (and even a few princes) plus detailed information of all things princess including palaces, gardens, meals, coats of arms and confidantes. This Who's Who of princesses book includes Princess Babbling Brooke, Princess Quartermoon and Princess Ices. There are also some downright scary princesses like Princess Hot-Head, Princess Sticky-Fingers, The Faceless Princess and Princess Primandproper. And there's even a bearded Prince S.
A mesmerizing compilation, girls, especially ones that may be a little too old for the cartoon Disney princesses, will find a lot to like in The Secret Lives of Princesses. The illustrations by Rébecca Dautremer are beautifully done, with loads of detail. One such example: The page spread showing one of my favorites, the bookish Princess Paige, includes hundreds of tiny cut out letters tumbling down her lap. My daughter loved browsing through the book with me and decided upon a few favorites, too, picking out all the tiny princesses - the dragonfly like Princess For-A-Day, thumbed-sized Princess Thimbelina and the minute Princess Claire Voyant. She also picked out her favorite castle (the basic model with options) and we practiced our fan gestures using The International Alphabet of Fans. I would especially recommend this book to fans of all those 'Ology books (Dragonology, Wizardology, etc.), even though it lacks interactive pull-outs.
How does my daughter stand up to the tips and techniques in the back of the book to tell a true princess?
Never wears socks, not even in winter - ✔ (must force her into wearing them)
Rarely takes off her crown - ✔
Sings in bath - ✔
Sometimes grumpy - ✔
Never bites nails - ✔
Yes, she pretty much passes the test. Not overly surprising though, considering her mother is of royal blood. From now on, please address me as Her Highfalutin’ Vivacity, Princess Janelle, Adroit Spelunker of Brimful Curiosities. Discover more about the princesses and learn your own princess name at http://secretlivesofprincesses.com/.
If my daughter had a choice, she said she would be like to be Princess Flower Petal (a princess of her own creation not included in the book) and oversee large flower gardens. For the craft this week, she drew a purple Flower Petal Princess and, inspired by this book dress girl by Juliette Crane, she covered the princess dress with glued-on velvety violas. After she finished her mixed-media art, we covered it with contact paper to help preserve the violas.
A Mommy's Adventures hosts the "stART" meme (Story + Art) each week. Hope Is the Word hosts a Read Aloud Thursday link-up as well.
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