THE PRINCESS AND THE BEGGAR by Anne Sibley O'Brien

THE PRINCESS AND THE BEGGAR

A Korean Folktale
Age Range: 4 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A sixth-century tale that could have been beloved only by a people of unusual wisdom and generosity. Impatient with his daughter's constant weeping, the king threatens to marry her to the beggar Pabo Ondal. At 16, refusing an arranged marriage that would deprive her of her studies and her freedom, the princess challenges her father to carry out his threat and goes to the reclusive beggar. In time, she teaches him so well that he goes to court and wins a poetry contest (with an exquisite verse metaphorically describing how he and the princess have nurtured each other); impressed, the king welcomes him as an honored son- in-law. O'Brien's graceful retelling subtly hints at the story's substructure--the reason for the princess's tears, the intelligence and good will she and Pabo Ondal bring to their marriage. Her realistic pastel and colored pencil art is unpretentious but very appealing, skillfully representing the characters' feelings and affectionately detailing the landscape and period costume (as explained in an excellent note). A felicitous setting for a lovely tale. (Folklore/Picture book. 4+)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-590-46092-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1993




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