In the delightful picture book by Ursula Jones and illustrated by Sarah Gibb we meet a beautiful Princess who drives a cart, on the lookout for her kingdom. She is so pretty, kind, and generous, that people said that she must be a princess. One day, the princess is invited to a ball and is proposed to by three silly princes who are only interested in her looks. Our Princess turns them all down to marry the humble court jester, the only one who treats her with kindness and respect.
This surprisingly balanced modern fairy tale takes a fairly normal girl, one that is teased and belittled by the “popular” girls and portrays her as happier and more content than they are. She is thrifty and hardworking, and marries a poor man for love, rather than the vain admiration of princes who could give her the kingdom she wishes for. The jester is kind and romantic, and offers the princess his heart as her kingdom. Though he is as poor as she, they decide to have a go at life together, the very thing that every man offers when he proposes marriage.
The illustrations are the most beautiful thing about this book. They are comparable to those of the Golden Age, highly detailed and colorful. Several are two page spreads, and some are in black silhouettes with the occasional pop of pink or red.
The Princess Who Had No Kingdom is an antidote to the entitlement that somehow infects many princess stories (though, this makes no sense, because in almost every fairy tale I’ve read, the girls have to work hard for what they get). The heroine works hard and is beautiful but doesn’t get a kingdom from the deal, but she’s okay with that! She loves her life and her jester and doesn’t care whether she has fine clothes or a place. She is one princess I would love to see girls emulate! Two thumbs up!
I'm T.K. Wilson, Read my blog for great information and stories about dolls, toy restoration, Christian Fantasy and so much more! Blog updates Mondays and Fridays.