Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004
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*****= An all-time favorite
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****The Princess Knight

by Cornelia Funke

illustrated by Kerstin Meyer

translated by Anthea Bell

Reviewed March 21, 2004.
The Chicken House (Scholastic), New York, 2003.  32 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (E FUN).
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004, #4, Picture Books

Here’s a great twist on a fairy tale.  Violetta is a small princess, but she’s nimble and quick and learns to be an even better knight than her three brothers.  When her father announces that the winner of a tournament will receive her hand in marriage, she decides that she will simply win the tournament herself.

The story is told in just the right way, showing Violetta’s determined efforts to win respect for herself.

Cornelia Funke is a prolific German writer.  I’m glad that since The Thief Lord has done so well, more of her work is being translated into English.  This story is just exactly the sort I like.  There’s only one thing that unnerves me about it.  The premise of a princess who doesn’t want to be offered as a prize and decides to win herself is exactly the same one I used in the book whose first draft I just finished.  However, mine’s a novel and this is a picture book, and mine has more of a focus on the quest itself.  I guess I will simply say that it goes to show that this is a good idea!

Here’s a great story for girls, where the heroine doesn’t sit around waiting to be won, but accomplishes great deeds herself.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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