Review Blog

Oct 09 2014

The princess and the presents by Caryl Hart

cover image

Ill. by Sarah Warburton. Nosy Crow, 2014. ISBN 9780857632609.
(Age: Preschool - Yr 3). It's Princess Ruby's birthday soon and according to her father the King, nothing is too much for his spoilt, pampered daughter who is an entitled, obnoxious brat. 'My special day must be the BEST. Or else!' she said. She demands a giant tree house, and a parrot that talks; a pair of fancy shoes that light up when she walks; a new tiara for each day at school, and a pony, some roller skates, and loads and loads of jewels. Apparently besotted by his daughter, unable to say no to her whining, or perhaps fearful of her ability to throw tantrums where she screams so loudly you can see her tonsils, her father dashes out with a great big case of cash. But even his best efforts are not enough for this 'greedy little tyke' who is looking for a mobile phone, three puppies and a bike. The more she demands, the more he gives her until there are presents piled high in every room in the palace.
And then disaster strikes. And a lesson is learned.
In this cautionary tale about being careful about what you wish for, Princess Ruby's character is so unlikeable that not even the most precious of princesses in the class could empathise with her and wish to take her place. But then there is some salvation after the disaster which makes the whole story work in a way that's not apparent from the start. It provides lots of opportunities for discussion, not only about the characters but also values.
Written in rhyming text and accompanied by boldly coloured illustrations that are full of humour and detail that they lift the text so it doesn't become too moralistic, it remains entertaining to the end. Even the boys will enjoy it!
Barbara Braxton

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals 2018
National Book Award winners 2017
Speech Pathology Book of the Year Awards 2017
YABBA Awards 2017
Teens' top 10
2017 Man Booker Prize
Australian Family Therapists' Award for Children's Literature 2017 winners
2017 Children's Peace Literature Award Short List
Inkys Awards 2017
2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award
2017 NSW Premier's History Awards
The Queensland Literary Awards 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2017
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates