I lived in England when this book was originally published in 1980. A precocious reader (I was 7 at the time), I read this book about once a month for a few years, and it didn't hold up. I began looking for a replacement copy in the late 90's, when USED library versions were selling for $60 on amazon! The demand pushed a reprint, and I purchased copies for each of my three nieces (no sharing!), my sister, mother & best girlfriends. And three for me (just in case!).
The story of the princess cursed with ordinariness (she's just like me!) who loves to explore the gardens & woods and get away from it all will appeal to many young lady readers and their moms, too. This isn't your standard uckly duckling fable; it's an ode to being yourself and gaining acceptance on your own terms.
This is a very charming book! I bought it at the request of my 19 year old daughter who has read every last fairy tale & folklore book that our local library allows us to locate over the past 12 years.
She adores this story, because the princess is quite ordinary. Brownish hair, snub nose, and can work for her happiness. What's not to like?
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book. From the wait list I'm assuming its out of print now. If my own copy wasn't a gift from my late grandmother, I'd pass it on. Read this book if you can find it and make sure to get the version with M.M. Kaye's original illustrations. They are as priceless as the text.
Has anyone read this book by MM Kaye? It's a classic wonderful fairy tale that every little girl should read. (I read it first when I was ten.)
Basically, the story is the seventh daughter of a kingdom of blonde, perfect princesses is given an odd "gift" by her fairy godmother--- to be ordinary. She develops freckles, her hair goes from golden curls to straight and mouse-brown, and she becomes a complete tomboy. (Disgraceful, naturally.)
However, her parents still love her, and don't mistreat her--- just don't understand her, or why she won't just marry some prince just to become his queen. So she runs away, and gets a job as a dishwasher. Here she meets a prince, Perry, also in hiding from his own royal "duties", disguised as a peasant.
I won't spoil how the book comes out, but it's classic fairy tale style, so you can guess.
If anyone hasn't read this tome, they should, and definitely share it with their daughters if they have them.
Great read for young readers. Despite meddling families and well-intentioned fairies, an independent prince and princess find each other through ordinary activities and extraordinary good luck.
One of my personal favorites! Being ordinary can be the blessing sometimes!!