BOOK REVIEWS

The Princess Who Had No Kingdom Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-03-21 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 23 user ratings
ISBN:184616799X
LANGUAGE:English

"This is a lovely little book about an atypical princess, but the world-building was odd and it mostly felt like a missed opportunity to me. I would love to read about a princess who travels around in her cart delivering packages (and puppies and grannies); or a princess who's offered second-best everything, because she has no kingdom; or even a princess who falls in love with a jester. I'm just not sure this book pulled those elements together well. The story felt to me like the silhouette illustrations that adorned it's pages - pretty, but distant, and ultimately unknowable." said.

"I grabbed this one largely because of the pictures--we discovered the illustrator, Sarah Gibb, from a version of Rapunzel that we checked out last fall, and she is fantastic. Her pictures are reminiscent of woodcuts, and they alternate between full-color-and-detail pictures and silhouette pictures. The story is an original, but reads like a fairy tale, and it's very good, too. Although, like many folktales or folktale-like stories, it's a little bit long, it didn't feel long in reading aloud. It follows a princess who doesn't have a kingdom as she sets out to find one, and I very much enjoyed the conclusion!" said.

"So whimsical, in a good way! The princess with no kingdom rides through the land with a cart and a pony, making her living delivering items you can't mail. She hopes to find her kingdom someday, but in the meantime she has a pretty good life (and a good head on her shoulders, in my opinion). A chance meeting with dowager duchess Wilhelmina leads to an invitation to a royal ball. At the ball, there's a quarrel between potential suitors... and an ending that isn't what you'd expect, but is far more lovely thanks to the Princess's good sense.

I do have two complaints. First, the foil on the cover seems gratuitous when Sarah Gibb's art is so charming. Second, I'm a little done with depictions of women in art where their waists are cinched in to be only slightly bigger than their necks. Historical accuracy just isn't that important unless you're curating a museum exhibit! Still, I do love this book.
" said.

"The Princess who had no kingdom traveled everywhere looking for her kingdom. She did not waste her time or act better than everyone else. She put her traveling to good use by making money delivering hard to carry items. She visited as a princess in many fine homes as any good princess should. She went to the king's coronation. But of all the prince's who offered her a kingdom for her hand in marriage, it is the court jester who steals her heart.

The illustrative style of this book is very different. It reminds of something from the Victorian era. Many times the characters are drawn as silhouettes while only certain parts of the page are in color. This makes the pictures intriguing. The illustrations are gorgeous in a sophisticated way and the details draw the eye.

The story is also unique. Not your typical princess meets prince and they fall in love. Both characters are hard working and see what really matters in life.

I highly, highly recommend this book. The story may be too mature for the littlest ones, but would be enjoyed by ages 5-6 and up.
" said.

"This picture book is whimsical and tender without being too treacly. While we can see whom the princess will eventually marry, the road towards this foregone conclusion isn’t quite so straight and narrow.

The illustrations are simply divine, artfully mixing black silhouettes with splashes of color. I almost expect this to be a pop-up book, since they convey the same sense of two-dimensional pictures that are meant to be three dimensional.

The only real problem I had with it is with a glaring lack of names where they are needed. The titular princess doesn’t have a name. Her would-be husband doesn’t get a name. The dowager duchess has a name as do the princes who bid for the princess’s hand in marriage. Even the horse is called Pretty! But the PWHNK goes without one.

What kind of sense does that make? This book has important messages to convey to small kids, ones about being kind, generous, helpful and good natured, trying to find yourself or your place in the world no matter what anybody thinks and seeing people for who they really are instead of what they wear. But they can’t be bothered to give their central characters names instead of labels? Pfft.

This book is truly beautiful to look at and read but I suggest that future re-prints correct these errors.
" said.

"This is a very different sort of fairy tale since the princess does not have a kingdom of her own and also lacks any wealth. She travels around other kingdoms delivering packages. As she journeys she looks for her kingdom, assuming that a princess must have a kingdom somewhere. She stops and visits other royalty but as she isn't wealthy and has no kingdom they treat her to their second best everything, except the court jester who shares with her his very best joke and a pair of his red tights (because her feet looked cold). And yet despite everything several princes and even a king want to marry her because of her charm and beauty (and very possibly her red tights). In fact they are so determined that they get into a food fight over it, which does not impress the princess. Instead she heads off to find her happiness elsewhere.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It's a typical fairy tale in that the good are rewarded, but not necessarily in all the ways one might think. I like the idea being expressed that happiness can be found in love and family and finding our own 'kingdom' even if it isn't a typical or even tangible place. And Sarah Gibb's illustrations are beautiful and sweet.
" said.

"I wouldn't usually include a childrens book on my reading list, even though I am guilty of dipping into a fair few (mostly for nostalgic reasons; re-reading the ones I loved as a child like The Tiger Who Came To Tea and On The Way Home!) however my big sister bought me this for Christmas and so I want to include it so I don't forget.

This is a sweet story about a princess who has no kingdom. My sister bought it for me as she said it reminded her of me and I can totally see why! The princess drags her prized possesions around with her on a horse drawn cart, and those items mostly consist of bird cages, ribbons and tea pots! Which (having moved house about 10 times in 5 years) are the main (useless!) items I seem to cherish most as I move from house to house.

The book is beautifully illustrated with foil printing and metallic patterns. The drawings are so detailed that there is lots to look at and notice each time you glance back at the page. Of course it is still a childrens book so quick & easy to read and a simple story, but it's a sweet little love story and not your usual cliche prince and princess ending like you'd expect.

It definitely warmed my heart and made me smile, and does make a nice unusual gift! It is one I'll keep until I know any children (non currently!) who might want it read to them.
" said.

" This is such an adorable little original fairy tale. I love the message that it gives little girls that you don't have to have money or a large house to be a princess and fulfill your dreams " said.

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