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Monday, April 17, 2017

Princess Legends, Folktales and Fairy Tales -- National Princess Week Resources & Giveaway

Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

Did you have a good Easter? We enjoyed a five day celebration starting last Wednesday with my parents visiting through Sunday with my mother-in-law. It was fun but time consuming. And now in Massachusetts it is Patriot's Day and school vacation week. We have lots of fun things planned this week, but I promise to do some posts since there is so much going on!! Last week's Crafty Weekends is continuing on so come share all things crafty!

Today we are continuing our preparation for National Princess Week with our resources and GIVEAWAY!! I thought today I would share some resources that are legends, folktales and fairy tales including three of the books which are prizes in our giveaway (scroll down). Our first book for today is Princess Sophie and the Six Swans: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm retold and illustrated by Kim Jacobs. 



This beautifully illustrated book retells a Grimm fairy tale. It is about a sister who works very hard to save her six brothers. The girl resented her new stepmother replacing her mother. The stepmother resented the children. The king bought a distant castle to keep his children safe and visited them when he could, but the stepmother found them. She used six shirts full of spells to turn the six brothers into swans. To change them back the princess had to make six shirts from thorny thistle without speaking until they are complete. It took years for the sister to complete this task and a young king takes her in and falls in love, but she is still mute. They marry and have a daughter when the sixth shirt is almost complete. The stepmother steals the baby and the town puts the new queen on trial for witchcraft. During the trial the six swans appear and the princess throws the six shirts (the last not completely completed) into the air and the swans fly into them and become her brothers again. The youngest however still has a wing from where the shirt was not completed. With her brothers safe she is able to tell her husband and kingdom the truth of what happened. Her father comes to the celebration with her daughter and all is happy. It is a wonderful tale of a strong princess who tries to get rid of the evil in her life. When it backfires she finds strength to do a near impossible and painful task to safe the ones she loves. It takes years of struggling and not talking, but she manages to save her brothers and have a wonderful life of her own.

Our next story is not really a fairy tale or folk tale, but it has some magic (a fairy godmother) in it so I am putting with the typical folk tales and fairy tales. It is Princess Cora and the Crocodile by Laura Amy Schlitz and illustrated by Brian Floca. 



In this tale Princess Cora is a good girl. She does what her parents and nanny want her to even though it is not fun. Her nanny is obsessed with cleanliness and has her bathe several times a day. Her mother insists on her being well educated and sits with her in the library forcing her to read boring books for hours. Her father insists she be fit and spends time in the dungeon gym forcing her to exercise the same way and to become faster. All Princess Cora wants is a dog. The adults all say no way. She writes to her fairy godmother and the next day there is a gift by her bed. It is a large box with holes. Inside is a crocodile. The crocodile and Princess Cora switch places for the day. Princess Cora gets a day of freedom and doing as she pleases. She explores and plays and has a wonderful adventure. The crocodile however locks nanny in the bath, the queen in the library and the king in the gym. He also tells them the problems with each activity. After being locked in the places they have forced Princess Cora to spend hours, they realize how awful it is. Princess Cora returns form her adventure hoping not to be in too much trouble to find they are willing for her to have a dog and make changes to her schedule.

Princess Cora is a child who tries to please the adults in her life but she is unable to enjoy life. The crocodile gives her the day of adventure and a way for the adults to see what they are doing to the sweet princess. She comes back ready to ask for what she needs and a stronger person. It is a wonderful reminder to listen to our child's needs and to make sure this is play and adventure in each day. 


The next book is a tale in the Caribbean about a magical princess who only reveals herself to certain people. She appears when the nutmeg is about ready for harvesting so Petite Mama calls her the Nutmeg Princess. The only people who are not afraid of Petite Mama and believe her are two children named Aglo and Petal. The Nutmeg Princess appears to Aglo and not to Petal, but Petal believes him. They run down to tell the townspeople about the Nutmeg Princess. The people hear about the diamonds in her hair and decide to go up the mountain to find the diamonds and get rich. The children take a boat to get to the Nutmeg Princess since only Aglo can see her, but the boat has a leak and begins to sink. Aglo cannot swim, so Petal tells him to just hold on to her and brings him to the safety of the Nutmeg Princess's raft. The Nutmeg Princess rewards Petal for saving her friend with a diamond on her forehead. Aglo and Petal inherit Petite Mama's land and continuing growing her fruits and nutmeg. This is a wonderful tale of a magical princess with a lesson about caring for each other and the earth and not about material things like diamonds and money. It is a sweet story with so many lessons in it.



The next book I will share is a favorite of ours from when Hazel was younger. It is unfortunately not a prize in our giveaway, but is a great resource for National Princess Week. It is The Little Moon Princess by YJ Lee. In this sweet story a sparrow visits a moon and finds a little princess there. She has many beautiful shiny jewels, but she tells the sparrow she would like to see what is beyond her moon but it is too dark. The sparrow helps the princess get all the shiny jewels into the blacks of the sky and thus creates the stars. The young princess in this one is willing to give up her jewels which are also her toys to provide light for the dark sky around her. It is a wonderful tale about friendship, fears and more.



The other great resource for National Princess Week are the various fairy tales from different cultures. Most of these are not about frilly princesses who sit around waiting to be saved or just go to balls.  We have done a series on these stories especially Cinderella stories around the world. These princesses hang out with crocodiles, snakes, fish and do a lot of work. They are brave and strong and perfect role models for our children. 

Now for our giveaway!! Have you entered yet? 

Thank you to the following companies for their amazing donations:

Annick Press: The Nutmeg Princess  and The Paper Bag Princess
Candlewick Press: Princess Cora and the CrocodileThe Princess in Black Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party, Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde and Princess in Black Takes a Vacation
Goosebottom Books: Hatshepsut of Egypt, Artemisia of Caria , Sorghaghtani of Mongolia, Qutlugh Terkan Khatun of Kirman, Isabella of CastileNur Jahan of India and Sacajawea of the Shoshone
I See Me! Books: Your choice of personalized  Princess Personalized Book or Royal Birthday Adventure
Penguin Kids: Princess Grace and Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible
Wisdom Tales Press: Princess Sophie and the Six Swans

Now is your chance to win these books!! Please follow my Giveaway Rules and US shipping only! Good luck!! (Come back all month to enter on each princess post. One of the entries can be done each day be leaving a comment on the posts in this series: Introduction, a Look at Real Life Princesses, Personalized Princess Books, and this post)

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