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“Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.”
Summary: With the Royal Bank Account empty, Olivia felt sorry for her parents. She really and truly wanted to help them, but didn't know how. She would search the forest not far from the castle dreaming of ideas, but all she found was Hissy, her new pet snake! Meanwhile, the evil Count Carlos Maximillian von Dusseldorf was lurking about, looking to get rich. He spotted Olivia and, with the help of Georgette his Magical Minion, he kidnapped her for ransom. With the royal coffers empty, will the King and Queen be able to save Princess Olivia? This is a fairy tale with magic, humor, and lots of wordplay.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, anytime reading, family reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 10; read yourself: 9 to 12
Interest Level: 7 to 12
Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is cute, but don't mistake it for a "girl book." It has that classic fairy tale feel (complete with a bad guy) that many young readers love. I'm not a fan of stereotypical or blundering parents. Their personalities are part of the story but don't overpower or detract from it. All in all, I enjoyed The Story of Princess Olivia.
Pros: Lots of fun awaits you in this slim novel. Wordplay, humorous events, and quirky characters all add to the joy of reading this original fairy tale.
Cons: None, really.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a fun story and one you can enjoy over several nights, one chapter at a time. Even though I don't see it on my permanent bookshelf, I would definitely buy this as a gift for someone who loves fairy tales (classic and fractured) and/or princess stories.
Educational Themes: The story ends with a question: what do you suppose will happen tomorrow? Use this as your jumping-off point for asking young readers what they think would be the next chapter in Princess Olivia's life. At home, they might share the story orally; in school they could draw pictures or write a narrative. As an alternative, ask your reader to pick a different character and write about their next adventure.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - adventure, fairy tale, family, fantasy
Date(s) Reviewed: May 2015
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews at BarnesandNoble.com; and reviews and reader feedback at Amazon.com.