The Apple-pip Princess by Jane Ray
|The Apple-pip Princess by Jane Ray|
|Genre: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Kimberly Saunders|
|Summary: A beautifully told modern fairy tale about loss, hope, and renewal.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: September 2008|
Every now and again a children's picture book comes along that from its very first reading endears itself to the heart. This is one of those rare books. A modern fairy tale that rightfully earns the title of classic in the making, it is a beautiful tale of hope and love.
Once upon a time, the land was verdant and the people prosperous and happy, living under their gentle king and his beautiful wife. One day the queen died, leaving the king to raise their three daughters alone. Bereft, the light went out of the kingdom and all became barren. Looking over his land, he knows he must do something, and knowing that one day one of his daughters must rule in his place, he sets them a task. They must find something to change the land, and the one whose change is the most marvelous shall inherit the kingdom. Each princess ponders what to do.
The first two princesses each go for showy examples of royal power, using the people and their resources to make their solution of the task complete. The youngest princess however, looks out upon the desolate landscape and chooses to use a small apple pip left by her mother as a memento. She plants it, and pours all her hopes and dreams into this little seed. What happens is truly magical, showing that love and hope are the beacons all things must follow from.
The illustrations really raise the bar for any similar books that may follow in this vein. The earthy tones really reflect the dry, parched land, and the warm skin tones of the people match their land well. It is refreshing to see princesses who look more like real people, making it easy for children to slip into this world of fantasy due to its familiarity. The text is as down to earth as the illustrations, lacking fluffy filler so that the story sticks to the main points. This gives no time for the mind to wander off on tangents and lends weight to the events that unfold as the three princesses go about completing their tasks. The language is as simple as the story is short, making it a perfect read aloud for the young just beginning to enjoy picture books, as it does for the emerging confident reader. Recommended.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
If this book appeals then you might also enjoy The Velveteen Rabbit by Marjery Williams as the story has the same timeless feel to it, and deals with love, loss, and the little things that really matter with a wonderful magical ending.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.