FICTION

Who Wants To Be a Princess?: What It Was Like To Be a Medieval Princess

illus. by Migy. 32p. bibliog. Holt. Mar. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780805097696.
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Gr 2–4—A fairy-tale princess has a pretty glamorous life. She wears fancy dresses, dances at the ball, and has helpful anthropomorphic woodland creatures attending to her every need. The fantasy is so dazzling that it's easy to forget the reality. Princess Beatrice, a fictional royal, is here to share what life as a medieval princess was really like. Each spread provides helpful facts that illuminate the truth about growing up royal in the Middle Ages. For example, princesses didn't wait to be rescued by a handsome prince. Instead, they were placed in an arranged marriage, often at a very young age. They did not get cursed by an evil queen, but they spent time practicing embroidery and horseback riding. The engaging illustrations emphasize the contrast between the vivid fantasy world and the more muted earth tones of real life. Back matter includes an author's note with more factual information as well as a brief bibliography for those who wish to learn more about castle life in the Middle Ages. The book also serves as a gentle reminder that while it may be fun to daydream about another life, the reality may not be as enviable.
VERDICT Appropriate for most picture book collections, this title adds a much-needed touch of reality to the princess genre.

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