Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New Book: There's a Princess in the Palace by Zoe Alley

There's a Princess in the Palace

There's a Princess in the Palace by Zoe Alley and illustrated by her husband R.W. Alley was officially released last week.  I haven't had a chance to see the entire book yet, but it does look fun.  It is along the same lines as their previous title, There's a Wolf at the Door.

The new title, like the previous one, is receiving starred reviews from most, if not all, of the major review sources.

Book description from the publisher:

In this hilarious collection of princess stories with a distinctive spin, there's Cinderella, who was, though you may not know it, Sleeping Beauty’s mom; Sleeping Beauty, who didn’t fall asleep because of the prick of a needle—it was sheer boredom; Snow White and her diminutive friends—Les, Lou, Sam, Hank, Nat, Myron, and Bethanne; the princess of frog fame; and the princess of pea fame.
Actually, the entire book is like the children's version of Sherri Tepper's Beauty, a novel from years ago, in which famous fairy tale princesses are all related somehow.  This is of course much more light-hearted and intended for children when Tepper's book was definitely for grown-ups.  And Tepper's book is decidedly unhumorous as I remember it.

Review excerpt from School Library Journal:

This colorful, oversize graphic novel is packed with puns, witticisms, and sarcastic asides. It opens as Cinderella–whose real name turns out to be Ashley–tries on the glass slipper and it fits. "My princess! Marry me!" says handsome Prince Dennis. "My prince! Okay!" says Cinderella. Before you know it, they have a daughter. A certain witch who is not invited to the christening casts a spell and–voila!–Princess Dawn becomes Sleeping Beauty. She is something of a spoiled brat and wakes to the kiss of another handsome prince–one who takes himself far too seriously. But she's not ready to make a commitment, so off she goes into the woods, where she invades the house of seven dwarfs and turns into Snow White.

Excerpt from Publishers Weekly review:

Like their 2008 collection The Wolf at the Door, with which this volume shares its oversize format, the Alleys' panel-art versions of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, The Frog Prince, and The Princess and the Pea are part retelling, part parody. Knit together with some creative genealogy, the stories downplay beauty and romance and concentrate on feisty dialogue. Two mice provide running commentary--"Don't you think she might need to brush after being asleep for so long?" one asks about Sleeping Beauty. Earlier, one asks, "Shouldn't the Prince love Cinderella no matter what she's wearing or who she is?" "Of course," replies the other, "but she doesn't know that yet!"

Anyway, it looks like fun and I can't wait to see the full book.  I would love to test drive it with actual kids and see how well they like it, pretty well I imagine.

There's a Wolf at the Door

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