Princess and the Wizard

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The Princess and the Wizard by Julia Donaldson, Illustrated by Lydia Monks, book reviewWe are huge fans of Julia Donaldson in our house and I’m often on the look out for more of her books to share with my daughter. As it was my youngest daughter’s sixth birthday last week, I spotted a couple of this lovely author’s books that we had not yet read and gave them as little birthday extras. One book was a charming looking one called The Princess and the Wizard which Natalie has really enjoyed reading especially because there is lots of glitter on every page!

At the start of the book, I was a little reminded of the traditional tale, Sleeping Beauty. This is because Princess Eliza is having a lovely birthday party in the palace with her parents and friends. However, an unwelcome guest, the wizard, arrives and is so angry that he was not invited that he turns everyone to stone apart from Princess Eliza who he imprisons in his tall dark castle. However, Princess Eliza’s fairy godmother is trying to look after her and gives her seven chances to escape if she is able to change her colour and the shape without the wizard detecting her.

There then follows Eliza’s different attempts to escape. On Monday she transforms into a blue fish and hides in the moat that surrounds the castle. Sadly though, she is unsuccessful and the wizard spots her. On Tuesday she changes into a yellow chick and hides in some straw. Yet again she is unsuccessful! This goes on through the week with, each day, Eliza transforming herself but being found by the wizard. She despairs of ever escaping. However, she comes to realise that the wizard is actually cheating and with this knowledge, she devises a cunning plan in order to trick him and make her escape! Will she be successful? You’ll just have to find a child to read this book with in order to find out!

“…a must for all Julia Donaldson fans – well the girls anyway!”

This delightful story is extremely engaging from the very first page. The simple tale with its sense of repetition makes it very much seem like a modern day fairy tale and as I mentioned earlier, at the start, there is that very strong resemblance to Sleeping Beauty which many children will probably recognise. Also with typical good and bad characters, some use of magic and hopefully a happy ending there is indeed a strong fairy tale feel to this story. The language used is reasonably simple which makes it suitable either for reading to younger children or for older more confident readers to read for themselves.

In many of her books, we are used to Julia Donaldson writing in rhyme. However, The Princess and the Wizard is written in a more straightforward prose, although it is inspersed with some wonderful rhyming couplets too.

In The Princess and The Wizard, Julia Donaldson has not teamed up with her more usual illustrator (Axel Scheffler) but has joined forces with Lydia Monks who has provided some quite charming illustrations to accompany the story. The pictures are all bright and colourful and the hint of glitter on each page really enhances them. There is also a quirky element to the illustrations which my daughter really appreciates.

Overall this great story is a lot of fun and is probably a must for all Julia Donaldson fans – well the girls anyway! I don’t think that this is really a book for the boys!

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Princess and the Wizard, The
by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Lydia Monks

One Comment on "Princess and the Wizard"

  1. elkiedee
    22/11/2013 at 10:08 Permalink

    In fact, my boys really quite enjoyed this one, which we have as part of a set with two other books with the same author/illustrator team.

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Written by kingfisher
kingfisher

My name is Jo and I have been married to Simon for nine years. We have two beautiful daughters – Rachel who is six and Natalie who is almost five and starting school in January. I also have two step children aged twenty one and seventeen so family life is never dull. I also manage to work three days for a local education authority where I support the teaching of literacy in primary schools. I love my job and it’s ideal for a book lover like me. In my spare time I run, dance and occasionally tread the boards with my local amateur dramatics group. My first love is reading though and you will never find me without a book on the go. My husband is also an avid reader and we are hoping to pass on our love of reading to our daughters. They certainly love their bedtime stories every night. Although I have and English degree and I am familiar with most of the classics, I generally read much lighter stuff these days. It’s mainly ‘chic lit’ but I also enjoy a good thriller or courtroom drama. I have so many favourite authors and this list tends to change regularly depending on what I am reading.

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