Review: The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye

The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye

4 of 5 stars


Book Summary:

Along with Wit, Charm, Health, and Courage, Princess Amy of Phantasmorania receives a special fairy christening gift: Ordinariness. Unlike her six beautiful sisters, she has brown hair and freckles, and would rather have adventures than play the harp, embroider tapestries . . . or become a Queen. When her royal parents try to marry her off, Amy runs away and, because she's so ordinary, easily becomes the fourteenth assistant kitchen maid at a neighboring palace. And there . . . much to everyone's surprise . . . she meets a prince just as ordinary (and special) as she is!

"This delightful fairy tale is sure to please young romantics . . . Neither Kaye's princess nor her book should be considered ordinary." (School Library Journal)

Book Review:

The Ordinary Princess by M M Kaye is a children’s book which attracted me because of the title and the cover page that shows a princess sitting barefoot, her tiara about to fall off and still has a bit of baby fat on her face. She just didn’t look like your usual fairy tale princess and I wanted to find out just how ordinary this princess was. For beginners, her name is Amy, short for Amethyst. She has brown hair that doesn’t curl into perfect ringlets and gray-brown eyes that do not sparkle like sapphires or emeralds. And oh, she is also the seventh and youngest princess of Phantasmorania.

Amy was blessed by the fairy godmothers of Forest of Faraway on her christening day with Wit, Charm, Courage, Health, Wisdom, Grace and…. Ordinariness! The last one, was given by a very old and powerful fairy, Crustacea. The horror of a princess being ordinary! Nothing changes that, not even the appearance of Crustacea later in the book (SPOILER ALERT). That is what I found to be the best aspect of this story. Her ordinariness is fussed about a lot by the King and Queen and the rest of the Royal Court except Amy herself. She never sees this as a problem and takes it all in a stride. And she still gets a happy ending. This is exactly the message we need to give to kids in a world they are forced to be special (read: socially acceptable stereotypes) in one way or the other – being ordinary is not a bad thing; just keep being yourself and that in itself is special.

Kaye has written an endearing foreword to this book in which she writes about her inspiration for this book and it opened my eyes to Andrew Lang’s Fairy Book Series and their wonderful illustrations by Henry Justice Ford. While most of the stories are familiar to me, the illustrations look magical and makes me want to jump inside the books and live out the fairy tales. She speaks about how the springtime England scenery that moved her to write about the ordinary princess. She has also added a number of her own illustrations to the book and they are adorable. Moreover she has painted pictures with her words for the kids to imagine as they fall asleep and step into the land of dreams. I would’ve loved reading this book as a child and enjoyed it just as much reading it as an adult.The Ordinary Princess by M M Kaye is a children’s book which attracted me because of the title and the cover page that shows a princess sitting barefoot, her tiara about to fall off and still has a bit of baby fat on her face. She just didn’t look like your usual fairy tale princess and I wanted to find out just how ordinary this princess was. For beginners, her name is Amy, short for Amethyst. She has brown hair that doesn’t curl into perfect ringlets and gray-brown eyes that do not sparkle like sapphires or emeralds. And oh, she is also the seventh and youngest princess of Phantasmorania.

Amy was blessed by the fairy godmothers of Forest of Faraway on her christening day with Wit, Charm, Courage, Health, Wisdom, Grace and…. Ordinariness! The last one, was given by a very old and powerful fairy, Crustacea. The horror of a princess being ordinary!

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Mild Spoiler:
Nothing changes that, not even the appearance of Crustacea later in the book.
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That is what I found to be the best aspect of this story. Her ordinariness is fussed about a lot by the King and Queen and the rest of the Royal Court except Amy herself. She never sees this as a problem and takes it all in a stride. And she still gets a happy ending. This is exactly the message we need to give to kids in a world they are forced to be special (read: socially acceptable stereotypes) in one way or the other – being ordinary is not a bad thing; just keep being yourself and that in itself is special.

Kaye has written an endearing foreword to this book in which she writes about her inspiration for this book and it opened my eyes to Andrew Lang’s Fairy Book Series and their wonderful illustrations by Henry Justice Ford. While most of the stories are familiar to me, the illustrations look magical and makes me want to jump inside the books and live out the fairy tales. She speaks about how the springtime England scenery that moved her to write about the ordinary princess. She has also added a number of her own illustrations to the book and they are adorable. Moreover she has painted pictures with her words for the kids to imagine as they fall asleep and step into the land of dreams. I would’ve loved reading this book as a child and enjoyed it just as much reading it as an adult.

This review written by - Ashwati 

A person who loves to not just read books, but bring forth the characters to life inside her head; then she loves them, hates them, studies them like specimens, and analyses their redeeming qualities and flaws, all the while wishing she were a part of the story and its universe.
PS: she also loves long sentences. 

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