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by Kate Lum & illustrated by Sue Hellard

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 1-58234-762-X
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Three pampered princesses find out what life is like for the overworked servants in their “huge silver palace by the sea,” in this ode to the inherent worth of a hard day’s work. Lum uses a light, humorous approach and fairytale language to convey her gentle social commentary, providing lots of snappy dialogue and long lists of chores that the princesses must accomplish when they switch places with three servant girls as a lark. The princesses have a collective paradigm shift in attitude and proclaim kinder, gentler rules for the servant staff. They continue to pitch in with the work as they find they enjoy the fruits of their own labor. Hellard’s delightful watercolor-and-ink illustrations feature 18th-century-style princesses and a palace reminiscent of Versailles. The princesses are particularly amusing, with imaginative, fancy gowns and immense wigs that provide resting spots for passing farmyard fowl and a stray spider. The illustrations are full of visual humor and tiny jokes that extend the humor of the story. Little modern-day princesses who don’t like to clean their own rooms just might learn a thing or three from these practical princesses. (Picture book. 3-7)