Sunday, 20 October 2013

Primrose

Primrose by Alex T. Smith (Scholastic UK)
PB RRP $15.99
ISBN 978-1-407109-66-4
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Princess Primrose wants to have fun. But that is not what is expected of a royal princess. When her behaviour threatens to get out of hand there is only one thing to do – send for Grandmama. Can she teach her how to behave like a proper princess?

This is a really fun book full of wonderful alliteration. ‘Princesses don’t dabble with dough!’ the cook nervously tells Primrose when she wants to help in the kitchen. She is told not to dig in the mud with the gardener, climb trees, or play board games with the maids. She should be waving politely and wearing very uncomfortable outfits.

The fun is evident in the illustrations too. They are bright, bubbly and full of colour. The king and queen are very proper – in the beginning. And this makes their later transformation all the more enjoyable.

It is a Royal Decree that in emergencies, Grandmama must be telephoned immediately. And that stately and upright lady arrives on a dark page, in a thunderstorm, surrounded by dark clouds and mud. Then the next page is back to pink and fun, lightening the tone immediately.

I love that with Grandmama comes a change of pace highlighting the differences between what Princess Primrose wants to do and what she should do! Grandmama’s solution will surprise young readers. It certainly surprised the King and Queen.

Children will enjoy the cheeky princess and her ‘plump little pug’ Percy immensely.

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