Monday, October 5, 2009

Princess Hyacinth (The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated) by Florence Parry Heide; Illust by Lane Smith

Princess Hyacinth (The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated) is a sweet new book. I love fractured fairy tales and stories that are a twist on the familiar. It is a about a princess who has the knack for floating. Her parents, the king & queen, try everthing to keep her grounded. It is a great story that shows that while we need to be protective of our children we must still let them be who they really are. It is a great way to get that message across without being preachy.

The illustrations are by one of my favorite illustrators. Lane Smith is prolific and diverse in his work. I am lucky enough to have met him twice and found that he is a very sweet man. The first time I met him he an Jon Scieszka had just come out with The Stinky Cheeseman. They had come to our store to do a talk and signing. It was fun especially because they got a kick out of the plate of "stinky cheese" we had for them. Now at that time we never told customers that they couldn't bring other books to get signed. Mr. Smith was so cute because he was embarrased at the fact that so many adults had come with his art books to sign which made him very busy but not his partner Mr. Scieszka. Of course Jon Scieszka was good natured about it especially because Lane Smith was so embarrased. Like I said a very sweet man. I also love the fact that he is not a cookie cutter artist, all his illustrations are different enough and are perfect for the stories they are helping to tell. This new book about a princess who floats is a wonderful example of his genius. Check it out!

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