Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Princess Hyacinth (The Suprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated)

Princess Hyacinth (The Suprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated)

Fall 2009 Picture Books
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
ISBN: 978-0-375-84501-7
Hardcover Price: $17.99
Ever wondered why princesses wear all those jewels and balance heavy crowns on their heads? Bet you thought it was because they were rich and royal, right? Not so, in Florence Parry Heide's somewhat weird world. Princess Hyacinth has to have little golden weights sewn in the hems of her gowns, little diamond pebbles attached to the tops of her socks, and a really BIG HEAVY CROWN anchored by a rhinestone chin strap on her head. Why? Because if she doesn't, she'll float away. And that's exactly what she does one day when, in a moment of utter and delighted rebellion, she shucks her royal gear and asks (no, insists) that a Balloon Man tie a string around her ankle and let her waft along with his wares. Disaster, predictably, does rescue at the hands of a kite-flying Boy. Heide's crisply hilarious text is matched, chuckle for chuckle, by Lane Smith's sly illustrations filled with antic details. A buoyant (and slightly cautionary) confection that ends with tea and popcorn in the palace...and a Princess who must be both boosted up to table-level and tied down by-what else?-a stack of books.
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard   ©2009 Parents' Choice
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard is the Coordinator of Youth Services for the Arlington Public Library system. She has taught courses on children’s and young adult literature at the Catholic University of America and the University of Virginia. She has served on both the Newbery and Caldecott Award Committees of the American Library Association and has chaired the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee and the May Hill Arbuthnot Award Committee. She is a member and past president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC and has chaired the Washington Post–Book Guild Nonfiction Award Committee. She is a founding member of Capitol Choices, an organization of professionals in the field of children’s literature in the greater Washington DC area. She regularly reviews children’s literature and audio productions for a variety of national publications.

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