As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

March 12, 2014

PRINCESS FURBALL by Charlotte Huck, 1994

Once upon a time a cruel King decided to betroth his motherless daughter to an Ogre in exchange for fifty wagons filled with silver. When the Princess learns what her father has done, she is horrified. But she is as clever as she is beautiful. Quickly, the Princess devises a plan to escape and, relying on her own spunk and good sense, ultimately marries the man she chooses for herself. (Amazon)

Reviewed by Julie, Children's lit enthusiast and pop culture geek

When a young princess learns she is to be married off to an ogre, she demands four things before she agrees to the union: a gown as golden as the sun, one as silver as the moon, a third as glittering as the stars, and a coat made from the skins of 1000 animals.  When her father meets these demands, the princess runs off to make her own fate.

I recently found a copy of PRINCESS FURBALL among my old books.  Its cover was creased and soft, its pages hopelessly yellow and falling apart.  It had definitely seen better days, but it was like discovering an old friend.  This "Cinderella" variation was probably the first fairy tale retelling I loved, but it certainly wouldn't be the last!

There are many factors that contribute to this enchanting story: a princess who yearns to make her own happy ending, the glorious watercolor illustrations that give the story a medieval feel, and the tiny details that make the story a delight to enjoy over and over. Children will love the pictures, and, if they're anything like me, might need a couple of spare copies.

Market: Children's picture book
Violence: none
Language: none
Sensuality: Happily-ever-after love, of course!
Adult Themes: Arranged marriage, royalty, ogres (that counts, doesn't it?)


MKHutchins said...

Ah! I have the exact same version on my bookshelf -- complete with soft, well-worn cover. I always loved the parts where she cooks.

Julie said...

Me too, MK! I also like the delicate nature of the illustrations: the little gold ring, etc. If you look carefully, you'll see the prince trying to "keep up" with her dress designs too. (He wears a gold outfit after her gold dress, etc.) I remember my sister pointing that out to me when I was younger, and I thought she was so smart to have noted that!