Title: The Princess and the Wizard
Author: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator: Lydia Monks
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
What it’s about: Young Princess Camellia is celebrating her birthday when a wicked wizard kidnaps her and takes her back to his castle to be his slave. He offers her seven chances to go back to her family if she can solve a simple riddle: “The princess may try seven times to escape By changing her colour and changing her shape.” After several failed attempts will she ever work out how to outsmart the wizard and get away?
Holly’s review: The illustrations in this are amazing. Every time you look at it you see something new. The drawings look like they have been done in crayon. They have a waxy appearance. And then there are sparkles on it which makes the book look more fun as it’s rough to the touch. It makes it more wizardy. The wizard’s nails are painted in a dainty way. The story is really good. The princess doesn’t complain about the jobs the wizard makes her do. She just does them. It’s different to other princess books. There is no prince to save her and she’s more tomboyish. She’s an ‘I’ll do it!’ princess.
Sam’s review: When Holly and I sat down to review this book, I just couldn’t get her to stop talking about the drawings. She was entranced by them. I think now she is older than when we first bought it, and very much into her art, she could appreciate the detail involved, and the mixed media used, from the crayon effect Holly talks about to photographs that are incorporated into drawn or painted images. The added sparkly bits do add an element of 3D to it too. The story is in the traditional Julia Donaldson mold – she uses clever rhymes and riddles for her heroine to get out of a sticky situation, with some comedy added too. And Holly is right – it’s great to see a princess who can think for herself rather than wait to be rescued!