Over the years I have read a lot of books, both fiction and non-fiction, about real-life princesses and queens. It’s interesting how one woman may shake in her shoes while another faces whatever dangers might come her way. These women were real and they were of some importance so we often find them fascinating in some way.
This book was short and historical so I decided to read it. There are twenty-six entries. I was kind of hoping for more, but the author decided to take the whole alphabet theme seriously. In ways I think this is great.
Each letter has a princess. Some of them are more recent like Diana Spencer, poor woman, and others are just blips in history over a thousand years ago. Many of these woman I have heard of, while others were new to me. I liked the new to me part. I’m a nerd and I like learning about things and new princesses is a great way to do that.
These more obscure princesses were from Asiatic, African and Norse countries. I like that I got a little bit of history about each of these places.
The entries are not very long. This leads me to believe the author was going for a younger audience, but there aren’t enough pictures to keep the attention of a younger audience. I would have liked to see longer entries for each of these women. Catherine the Great gets a fairly sizable entry while other princesses get a few sentences and no pictures.
In an alphabet themed book, whether it’s for adults or children, needs at least one picture for every letter. I think this has become an unwritten rule in the world of writing. Every letter needs equal representation. I know it’s hard to find entries to go with Q, Z, X, and Y at times, but even those lowly letters need pictures.
Some of these princesses are largely folklore passed down through the ages. I’m not arguing that they weren’t real, I’m sure they were, but their actions have taken on this almost ‘legend’ status. They’re placed on pedestals with Dracula and Davy Crockett, both were real, but didn’t do everything people say they did. This ‘legend’ status is going to warrant at least a little sketch if not a beautiful painting. The author could have found pictures for each of these princesses had she, I’m assuming Kerry is a she, dug a little deeper.
There isn’t even a picture for Princess Diana for crying out loud. We have tons of pictures of her! Put the picture of her in her poofy wedding dress with her entry.
I really do think the entries should have been longer. Kerry doesn’t need to write a full biography for each of these women, but there is certainly more to their stories. Boudica is someone I know there is more about than the short little blurb Kerry has in this book.
The story of Princess Noor is rather sad. I would like to learn more about her. She seems like she was a very interesting person.
What I liked: Even though I kind of griped about it, I do like the alphabet layout to an extent. I don’t know why each letter must be limited to one princess. There are many princesses.
I liked the wonderful pictures and paintings that went along with some of the women. I can’t imagine how much time went into many of the paintings.
What I didn’t like: If this is supposed to be for little girls, it’s far from motivational. There aren’t enough pictures. There isn’t enough about each princess. I know kids have short attention spans, but an inquisitive child is going to want to know more than a few sentences if they’re really interested.
The author’s writing style seemed very childish and simple. Again, I’m not sure of her target audience here. Does she want to appeal to kids or does she want to appeal to adults? Not sure.
It really felt like Kerry’s knowledge was limited. She skipped over princesses of the Americas besides Lydia Liliʻu Loloku Walania Wewehi Kamakaʻeha, who was a Hawaiian princess if you couldn’t guess. There were actually Native American princesses. England had more than its fair share of entries in this book.
Overall, it’s a quick little historical read. It’s not spectacular, but you might get away with reading this to your little girl as a bedtime story, maybe. Your little girl will have to be someone that doesn’t care about the lack of pictures.