A retelling of the well-known Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale with a Russian setting.
The Once Upon a World series travels the globe setting familiar Western fairy tales in different locales. This latest addition to the series is set in Russia and tells the story of the “lonely young prince who wanted to fall in love” and of his parents’ insistence that the bride-to-be be a princess. After traveling far and wide and meeting many princesses who are not right for him, the prince returns home, disappointed. One rainy evening, a wet and cold, dark-haired princess appears at the castle door. Refreshingly, the prince and princess fall in love not because they are a prince and princess but because they have talked and found they have much in common: they have traveled widely, explored the same places, and had adventures. Mirtalipova’s illustrations have a pleasing folksy feel, many pages decorated with pretty flowery borders. One double-page spread of the princess being taken care of by a host of servants is particularly appealing. (With the exception of one brown-skinned princess, all the characters are white.) Though the text has been simplified and the presentation is in board-book format, the intended audience is not the toddler set. And the prince and princess? As with the traditional telling, the princess passes the pea test and they live happily ever after.
A nice addition to the series. (Board book. 3-5)