The inevitable comparison with Anna and the King of Stam is perhaps unfair to this quite different sort of book. The one resemblance lies in the odd parallels. Mrs. Vining- like Anna- is a widow, chosen to act as English governess to an heir to an Oriental throne. There the resemblance ends. Where the fascination of the Landon book lies in its romantic and glamorous backgrounds, Mrs. Vining's story depends for its holding quality on her sensitive and perceptive appreciation of the Japanese, her growing awareness of their capacity for building on what they have maintained from the past, while at the same time facing forward, not back. She saw her role in, some felt, too limited terms, as simply a teacher of English. But before her four years were over, she had seen the crown prince change from a boy lacking in initiative, hampered by tradition, insecure -- to a normal youth on verge of manhood, still somewhat shy, but free of the trammels of his position, alert and inquiring of mind, with a quiet humor, deep sense of appreciation, an awareness of responsibility. This she had done through quietly insisting on foreing him to think for himself by slowly bringing the family- separated by the ancient mores- into 20th century relationships, by ""opening the windows"", not only for the crown prince but for his younger brother and his sisters, his lovely mother, and others of the court. The story is simply and directly told, with much of color and feeling for the cultural beauties of Japan, and with a changing aura as a people take hold and pull themselves out of the devastation of war to a road to peace....Mrs. Vining's gift for writing, evidenced in her books for young people, comes to full flowering here.