I am so in love with this children’s book – it breaks all the moulds usually seen about princesses with a modern twist on fairy tales. Read on to find out what makes this book unique.
Author: Natasha Farrant
Illustrator: Lydia Corry
Publication date: 5th September 2019
‘Mirror, mirror on the wall… what makes a princess excellent?’
An enchantress flights her magic mirror into our universe. Through the centuries, around the world, reflected in it are princesses who refuse to be pretty, polite or obedient. These girls are fierce, brave and determined to do the rescuing themselves.
The desert princess protects her people from the king with the black and gold banner. The forest princess takes a crocodile for a pet. An island princess explores the high seas. A mountain princess puts kindness above being royal. And in a tower-block city, Princess saves her community garden from the hands of urban developers.Taken from Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror
As soon as Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror dropped through my letterbox, I knew I was on to something special. Every moment I spent with this book revealed something marvellous.
Before I get onto the story content, I just want to touch on the aesthetics of the book. It has a stunning dust jacket, which reveals a book cover as equally as beautiful. What I was not expecting was full colour illustrations on every single page. Corry is not an illustrator I am familiar with, but now I know her work I’ll be looking out for more of it.
Zephyr have clearly gone all out with this publication, the quality is like nothing else I’ve seen so far this year. It really is a book you’ll buy and keep on your bookcase.
The book starts with an enchantress who wants to know what makes a princess excellent. Her magic mirror then follows eight princesses (well, seven actual princesses and one girl named Princess) to find out more about them. What she finds are eight very different people who challenge our ideas of princesses found in traditional fairy tales.
The stories themselves are wonderful. They depict strong, brave, intelligent princesses of many different nationalities and races. It is inclusive and sends a clear message that beauty comes in all forms, but most importantly, you are actually beautiful in the way you behave and treat people.
Just when I thought this book couldn’t get any better, I turned the page and discovered the holy grail of stories – a book within a book. I’m not going to spoil anything but this unexpected extra was truly the cherry on top of a magnificent cake.
There is only one minor thing I’d change about this book, and that’s in a couple of the stories where the princesses go on to marry. I feel like this sort of bends towards the more traditional fairy tale but I also appreciate that women can marry and not be completely beholden to the patriarchal system!
I cannot praise this book highly enough. Farrant is clearly a gifted writer and this is one of those books where I thought “I wish I’d wrote that”. I have nieces who will all be receiving copies of this book so they can learn what a true princess is capable of.
Many thanks to Zephyr Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
You can support your local bookshop by buying Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror through them directly, or via Hive.
What do you think of Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror? Will you be reading it? Let me know in the comments below.
Wishing you all a wonderfully bookish week,