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BOOK REVIEW: The Princess who had no Fortune by Ursula Jones, illustrated by Sarah Gibb

| 6 November 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: The Princess who had no Fortune by Ursula Jones, illustrated by Sarah Gibb

October 2015
Paperback, $14.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Picture Book



Once upon a time, there was a princess who had no fortune… 

This is a retelling of Cinderella, with a serious case of mistaken identity. 

The illustrations are lovely and full of character, and the story is quirky and carries a nice message. 

“What if she doesn’t want to be chosen?” the princess asked Geoffrey. “I’ve no time for princes,” she said. “They are only good for declaring things open and sitting on thrones. I do love a good dance, though, so I’ll go. If the prince chooses me, I’ll just say, ‘no thank you’ and he can marry the runner-up.”

But somewhere along the way, the words used to tell the story got in the way. Certain directions the story moved in, and the resultant dialogue, are sure to be confusing for younger readers. At times the wording was so simplistic as to appeal to the youngest of readers (or listeners, as it were) but at other times it became almost convoluted.

The Prince-Next-Door looked glum. “The princess won’t marry me now she knows who I really am. I came to visit her because she was the only princess who refused to come to the ball. I thought she might be my sort of girl. And she is. She’s wonderful.” He shrugged unhappily. “Then there was a muddle, and now she wants to marry the gardener, who is not me, who wants to marry the cook, who is not her.”

In trying to maintain the silly side of the story and take the mistaken identity further than it needed to go, the author rendered the story somewhat confusing, so that even this adult reader isn’t sure exactly why it went in the direction it did.

Overall this was rather sweet, and a very different take on the Cinderella story, but it didn’t all come together as well as one might have hoped.

Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

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