The Monster Princess
What It Is
Lala is a gnome that lives deep underground but longs to be a princess. Despite her mother’s advice not to care about fancy and frilly things, she leaves her home and ventures to a majestic castle above ground. Lala befriends three young princesses who take her under their wing and perform a Pygmalian-esque makeover in time for a fancy ball. Sadly, Lala trips while walking down the stairs and tumbles to the floor to find the guests laughing and sneering at her, including her new “friends.” Lala flees home in despair. Realizing that she still has the princesses’ gown, she swallows her pride and heads back “up” to return the dress. Lala discovers that a “wiffle” (monster) is about to eat the three princesses for lunch and bravely lures him away with tasty krinkle nuts. The princesses thank her profusely and invite her to be one of them. This time, Lala confidently announced that she’s proud to be a gnome and returns to her cozy home where her mom is waiting.
Why It’s Fun
This new release by D.J. MacHale, author of the Pendragon young adult series and writer of numerous television shows and movies, has the feeling of a classic fable complete with “monsters,” princesses, a ball and a “happily ever after” ending. The rhyming text is fun to read aloud, and young girls, whether they are “girly” or not, will love it. Alexandra Boiger’s richly painted illustrations add to the classic feel and easily bring us into Lala’s world.
Who’s Going To Love It
With imaginary things such as krinkle nuts, rugabees and wiffles, The Monster Princess could easily become a favorite for children and parents. Though the book skews to girls, boys will be enchanted by the pictures and “suspenseful” plot. Like a fable, the book carries an important message: Be proud of who you are. There is also a nice lesson in friendship when Lala realizes she must return the princesses’ gown and saves the girls from the monstrous wiffle, even though they had “turned” on her at the ball. Parents and kids can watch a special preview of the book on the author’s web site and will see that this is a great selection for the home library or even as a special Halloween treat!
10 out of 10
The Monster Princess
By: D.J. MacHale; Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
Published by: Aladdin, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing (2010)
Approximate retail price: $17.99 (hardcover)
Publisher’s recommended ages: 4 - 6