BOOK REVIEWS

Princess Hyacinth (The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-01-13 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 28 user ratings
ISBN:0553538047
LANGUAGE:English

" A wonderful fairy tale that delighted our daughter. We always love Lane Smith's artwork, and it married to this story perfectly. A fast favorite in our family! " said.

" A cute story about a princess with an odd problem. The prose is delightful to read aloud, and the illustrations and presentation are nicely artistic. " said.

" What I like about this book is that it is odd, unusual, predictable, yet completely unique. I love the way the presentation of the text compliments the words. I like the subtle humor throughout. It's a princess tale unlike others, but still worth reading. " said.

" Very cute story with cute illustrations. I liked that Princess Hyacinth wasn't bratty or spoiled, and I liked the bit of humor regarding her parents. Anyhow, still appropriate for kids and very adorable. " said.

"I’m… oddly envious of Princess Hyacinth. It would be very cool to float. Which, in turn, would mean flying. And being able to fly would be cool and terrifying and cooly terrifying. So, yes, I may be a tad jealous of Princess Hyacinth.

Anyway, this book was really cute. Very simple, but very cute. The message wasn’t terrible either. It was that you can’t always solve any issues you have, but you can learn to live with them. It was sweet, and I think a good message.

One discordant thing I noted was that originally the book seemed to focus on her problems with floating, but in the end it focused on her not being bored. I felt like it should’ve focused consistently on her floating “problem” and how it was fine, or whatnot. The ending felt a bit weird as a result. Like, she’s not bored… Yay? I mean, cool, she’s not bored. But you know what I mean?

To summarize, it was cute and a good children’s book.

What some people might be uncomfortable reading about in this book because of personal opinion or belief (spoilers): I found the king and queen’s reaction weird. For all their concern for their daughter floating away in the beginning of the book (by sowing things to her clothing), the citizens of their kingdom seemed more worried for the princess when she began floating away into the sky than the king did. What did he do? Watch her with binoculars. To make sure she didn’t get into trouble. That’s it. Yet, the citizens—in this case, royal guards, a police officer, and the balloon man—rushed to the king and queen to tell them what happened. (Moot point, as it turned out, since he did nothing but watch her with binoculars.) They showed more concern, at least judging by pictures, than the king did. It wasn’t an issue. Just kind of bugged me. I don’t know if kids would pick on up on the father’s unhelpful reaction.

Side note: what era is this? There’s binoculars and police officers, but also a king, queen and princess in relatively old fashioned clothing. Maybe it’s supposed to be modern Britain or Britain like—they have a royal family, obviously—but their clothing confused me?
" said.

" While I wish the "hero" was Girl instead of Boy, just to avoid the weird commoner-boy-saves-princess thing that seems oddly misplaced here ("Then Boy would fly his kite up, up, up right next to her, and reel her in when she wanted to come down"--really? I mean, she gets to choose the time, but still), this had some delightful moments in both illustration and words, and ends on a fantastic note. " said.

"“Princess Hyacinth (The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated)” by Florence Parry Heide is a super fun, lighthearted book perfect for a read-aloud story time. A librarian or teacher could present the dialogue and other text in the whimsical way it was intended. Parry Heide has written text that comes across as conversational and humorous, and it just works best when read out loud. The story is about Princess Hyacinth’s mysterious floating problem. When not weighted or tied down, the princess simply floats up in the air, higher and higher, until she is unreachable. This means she can only go out to play when she is wearing her heavy crown and clothes with weights sewn onto them. She is often bored because she cannot run around like the other children. The format of this book includes two-page spreads that include one page with an illustration and one page with text. The ink, oil, and computer-manipulated illustrations are funny and well done. The characters display a lot of personality, and Hyacinth and her friend Boy are really sweet and cute. The text is presented in different colors with varying sizes of font. It makes certain words and phrases stand out and will help early readers with text recognition. I would recommend this book for kindergarten through third grade readers. " said.

"I got a kick out of the narrator's tone in this book. Kind of the way I would tell the story if I'd been there.

Princess Hyacinth floats. Some kids whine, some kids talk too loud, some kids float. Okay, no kids float, except Princess Hyacinth. It's her thing.

Inside the castle, it's not that big of a deal. She floats, she hits the ceiling, someone gets her down. Outside is a different story. To keep her from floating away, the King and Queen make Hyacinth wear clothing with jewels sewn into the hems and a crown with the heaviest jewels. When she wears them, Hyacinth can barely walk. She mostly drags. She certainly doesn't get to run and play and have fun. She sits in the castle and looks out the window, watching other kids have fun.

When Hyacinth sees a vendor with a big bouquet of balloons, she gets the fantastic idea of tying a string to her foot so she can float in the air but be brought down at any time. It works great...until the balloon man accidentally lets go of her string.

This is a good point in the story to stop and ask kids to predict: how will the King and Queen ever be able to get Hyacinth down? Will they be able to get her down? So far our first graders have had some good ideas (a hot air balloon was my favorite) but none of them has predicted it correctly yet. :)
" said.

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