This is the story of Princess Peony who lives in a castle (that looks remarkably like a house) with a dragon (that looks a lot like a dog). You get the picture, but let’s not spoil the fun!
She is brave, in control and very regal although when she encounters Prince Morgan – who she believes is a Troll – things become a bit strained.
The First Adventures of Princess Peony is a lot of fun to read and the two-colour illustrations throughout are very entertaining. The little people in your life will thoroughly enjoy reading along with you and pointing out that things are not always as they seem.
It’s also a tongue-in-cheek practical guide for those who were thinking of becoming a princess or believe they will at some point discover that there is royal blood flowing through their veins. A handy reference to keep in your pocket or picnic basket, as the case may be, is ‘The True Princess Information and Quiz Sheet for All Princesses in Waiting.’
We don’t want to give anything away but if after a quick check you have the following, then you’re on the right track: handkerchief, glittery stickers, a unicorn, a crown, cupcakes and smiles, of course! All perfect fodder for little ones to create their own palace and royal court and parents will no doubt be co-opted into it so make sure you brush up on your acting skills and your royal protocol.
Luckily after Princess Peony deals with a disturbed dragon, an annoying troll and potentially life-threatening bears, the take away message is that ‘running a happy kingdom is very important.’
5+ readers will be able to read this independently, but it will of course appeal to those a lot younger when read aloud with a willing adult. Don’t forget to make sure the boys are in on this one too – there’s always room for a Prince Morgan, bear or dragon. Parents may be familiar with author Nette Hilton’s A Proper Little Lady picture book that also encourages imaginations and spending time in an imaginary world.
Nette Hilton has worked in many jobs from governess to teacher, tax clerk to receptionist/telephonist and all sorts in between. Her life as a writer began when her daughter, Emma, began to really hate going to school and she set out to write a book to help her through it. Since then, Nette has become an award-winning author with more than twenty years of experience. She grew up in Victoria but has lived in Sydney since the age of eleven.
Lucinda Gifford was brought up in Scotland and originally intended to become an architect, studying Architecture at Edinburgh and Bath Universities. Lucinda’s love of drawing buildings was cancelled out at the time by an overwhelming disinterest in construction sites and the newly-introduced CAD technology, and so she went on to spend a very enjoyable fifteen years in Auckland, London and Melbourne working in advertising and design. These days, Lucinda lives with her family in Melbourne’s northern suburbs – and works as an illustrator, author-illustrator and graphic designer from her cosy, messy home studio. Lucinda uses pencil, ink, crayon, marker, and watercolour to produce her illustrations, and usually uses PhotoShop to put everything together. When not sketching, designing or developing story ideas, Lucinda enjoys plot twists, beach walks and staring out the windows of Melbourne trams.