The Practical Princess

March 18, 2014

I've been waiting AGES to show you 'The Practical Princess and other Liberating Fairy Tales' by Jay Williams and Rick Schreiter. AGES. Since the beginning of the blog. But sometimes I get this funny idea in my head that I don't want to talk about certain books until Julia has read them or is old enough for them.

And sometimes I just feel funny in the head, so you know, there's that.

Last week, she grabbed this off the shelf and just started reading it. It was one of my ALL TIME FAVS; I think I read it circa twenty million years ago, or let's just say, when I was in 3rd or 4th grade. My mom gave it to me for Valentine's Day, isn't that sweet?


As you can see by the smudges and yellowing pages, this book has been very loved. But it's still in decent enough condition that I don't feel the need to replace it, like I had to do with my 'Great Swedish Fairy Tales' book.

One of my blog pals mentioned that she thought this post would be about Julia. I should have thought of that! Julia is most definitely a practical princess.



The gist of the book is this. Stories about girls who SAVE THEMSELVES. Or actually, in several of the stories, they save the prince who was supposed to save them.

These girls are calm. They are clever. They are patient and wise. (see also clever)


They see what needs to be done in any given situation, and they don't hesitate to act. I remember being DELIGHTED with this book when I first read it. These stories were fun, and funny, and even at age 8, I recognized that the girls in these stories were up to any task, and I knew that they were a refreshing difference from the standard fairy tale princess.

 THERE'S A GIRL NAMED MELISSA. Me! That's my name! Let me share how delighted I was to discover that nugget for the first time. VERY DELIGHTED.

(i love how the witch wants to turn someone into a piece of paper and then throw them away.)

 I especially love the silhouette art style inside of the book. Totally unique. There is one full color illustration at the front of the book and the rest are the charming silhouette-style drawings you see above.

Everyone seems to know how full o' the awesome this book o' stories is because it commands a pretty dang high penny even for a used copy. So maybe you want to find someone who has it, 'borrow' it for awhile and then conveniently forget to return it. 'Cept don't ask me because I'm the queen of that ploy.

This book is one of the crown jewels in my fairy tale collection. I've never ever come across any other fairy tale book quite like it. The tone and the lighthearted humor in the stories is so......lighthearted and humorous!

One princess falls for a fellow who is not too swift, shall we say. But she decides that he has made her life so much less BORING that she decides that she will be the brains for both of them, and off they go on their merry way. Some days, it is infinitely preferable to face dragons and evil wizards rather than endure one more day being BORED in the castle, ya know?

You know how it is.




11 comments:

  1. Excellent! I'll be putting this on my list for Harper!

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    1. really truly a unique special book. if you score yourself a copy, you won't be disappointed!

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  2. This is will on my reading list! I like stories about strong-willed fairies and princesses! I can't tell you all the books I bought after reading your blog. I think I'll have to set up a "Melissa Fund" so I have money to get them books LOL

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    1. I need a "Melissa Fund" of book money as well!! ha ha ha!

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  3. How fun. I love the title and the way you put pink fabric behind it. When I saw the title in my feed reader I thought for sure it was going to be a Julia post. I can see Julia as being a practical princess.

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    1. i used to J's old baby blanket, which has a satin backing to it. I also like to her dresses as backdrops. or her cheetah print chair. and yeah!!! totally!!!! my kid is 100% a practical princess.

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  4. Ack!!!! I need this!!!! You know I love my fairy tales, which doesn't always vibe with my feminist bent. Too cool!!!!!!

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    1. ahhhhhh D! you would LOVE this one! you might find at the library. i wonder if my library is cool enough to have a copy??

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  5. WHAT!!! I want to have read this book when I was a kid!!! WHY DIDN'T I? AND WHY ISN'T IT IN PRINT? Why? Oh my. I really really really hope to find one. I just need it. That's all.

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    1. i seriously don't understand why so many cool vintage books are out of print. i really would love to hear from people who know about book publishing.

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  6. My own little practical princesses need to see this one! Thanks for sharing.

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