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SUCH A PRINCE by Dan Bar-el


by Dan Bar-el & illustrated by John Manders

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-618-71468-1
Publisher: Clarion

Bar-el adds plenty of shtick to his retelling of a folk tale sometimes called “Three Perfect Peaches.” He gives over the narrator’s role to Libby Gaborchik, a fairy who prescribes three peaches to “cure” lovesick princess Vera, then helps young peasant lad Marvin to deliver the produce (unlike his hulking brothers Sheldon and Harvey), and to outsmart the king when he tries to torpedo the marriage by making Marvin responsible for a herd of rabbits. Playing clear homage to ’50s-style Disney cartoons, Manders’s comical illustrations pair a swain of Ichabod Crane–like skinniness and a red-haired princess with a tendency to leap about exuberantly—rather like the hordes of long-eared, pop-eyed white rabbits that bound all over the landscape, until they’re recalled by the magic whistle that Libby provides. In the end, the king surrenders, Vera sweeps Marvin off his feet and Libby closes with a small joke, because, “Laughing is good for your health. Trust me, I’m a fairy. I know these things.” A very funny rendition equally suited to reading or telling. Trust me. (Picture book/fairy tale. 6-9)