HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: A Really-Truly Princess
Author and Illustrator: Amanda Kastner
Publisher: StorySeamstress, 2017
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 8 – 12
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Kastner, Amanda. A Really-Truly Princess (published in 2017 by StorySeamstress Books). Rosellen is a princess who lives in a palace with her King-Papa, Queen-Mama, older prince-brothers Frederick and Albert, and a host of servants including Nurse, Head Gardener, youngest under gardener Thomas, Cook, Housekeeper, and others. She doesn’t always feel like a princess, and sometimes she is told that she doesn’t act like a princess. One day, she receives a book entitled Tales of True Princesses: Stories for the Entertainment and Instruction of Young Princesses Everywhere as a birthday gift from her Godmother and decides to use its examples as a guide for her own life to be a “really-truly Princess” just like the ones she reads about in the book. What happens when she imitates the story princesses’ actions? Do they really help her to be a better princess? And are there any lessons that she can learn from the experiences?
When I was growing up, I remember watching and enjoying the “Fractured Fairy Tales” segments of The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, and in A Really-Truly Princess author and illustrator Amanda Kastner, who is a homeschool graduate and Eldest Aunt to a Passel of Princesses, similarly puts her own light-hearted spin on five well-known fairy-tale princesses: the Princess and the pea, the Princess and the glass hill, the Princess and the frog, the Princess and the lost slipper (Cinderella), and the Princess and the spindle (Sleeping Beauty). Yet, in these whimsical escapades, there are some important take-aways, such as it’s usually best to be yourself and you can’t always solve problems in story-book style. The book is illustrated throughout with charming, old-fashioned pen-and-ink drawings. Obviously, it would appeal most to young princesses, but I think that even young princes might enjoy its humorous nature. There is also a companion coloring book of Rosellen’s adventures.