Review Blog

Aug 19 2010

The princess and her panther by Wendy Orr

cover image

Illustrated by Lauren Stringer. Allen and Unwin, 2010. ISBN 9781742374246.
Picture book. Trekking off into the wilderness to camp for the night, the princess and her panther clad friend set up their tent. The princess erects her red silken tent while the panther drinks from the wide blue lake, and as night settles in, the princess lights the lantern and tells the panther stories. Although the princess remains brave, and the panther tries to emulate her, she becomes more and more fearful as the night wears on. Things outside the tent make noises: they hear the slimpering of snakes, the too-whit-too-whooing of the owl, the moaning of the frog monster and pant panting of the great dog-wolf. Each child becomes less brave, until they both leap out of the tent and cry 'enough'. The girls go back to bed and sleep comfortably and panic free for the rest of the night.
Beautifully illustrated with acrylic on water colour paper, the detail on each page lures the eyes to see what things can be found. Throughout the book, hints are given as to where they might be and the last pages show this clearly, which will delight younger readers. A story about being afraid, of assertion, of staying calm in the midst of panic, this story will be widely used in classes as a picture book to entertain and as a book to take discussion farther.
Fran Knight

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