Monday, February 26, 2018
Book Review: 'Sir Princess Petra' by Diane Mae Robinson
Canadian author Diane Mae Robinson freely states `My mission in life is to inspire children to believe in the magic within themselves, to become heroes, and to accomplish great things' and to that end she is proceeding with her series of richly detailed imaginative fantasies focusing on a young princess who feels the need to be a knight - thus the perhaps confusing title of Sir Princess Petra. Diane earned her journalism diploma from the Schools of Montreal and an advanced diploma from the Institute of Children's Literature in Connecticut. She also teaches art and writing in addition to her own primary interest of writing her own novels. Though young and new to the field of publishing she has already been awarded honors and medals.
THE PEN PIEYU ADVENTURES opens with SIR PRINCESS PETRA and though it is a brief 68 pages in length it is enhanced by creative illustrations and a story with a character that obviously has a future. At Longstride Castle, in the Kingdom of Pen Pieyu, it is Princess Petra's ninth and royal birthday. Her father, King Longstride, has promised her anything her heart desires. Petra chooses to become a royal knight and protect her kingdom. (Thus far, Longstride castle has no knights as all of the silly soldiers are still trying to become knights.) After much commotion in the royal throne room, King Longstride has no choice but to grant her request. The royal rulebook says nothing about a girl becoming a knight but only that the proposed knight must perform a deed from a list of three. The choices are: to capture a crocodile and make his skin into a royal leather chair; to hush the howling, nasty dragon, Snarls, in the Forest of Doom; or to eat a roomful of raw onions. Petra takes option two and faces Snarls the dragon, but as in all fine fairy tales, the two become friends.'
Diane peppers her book with fanciful drawings by Samantha Kickingbird (and a terrific cover by Errol Villamante) of maps, scrolls, figures of the cast as well as the story at the end. She keeps the book short (a true plus for young readers) and makes her dialogue full of contemporary humor with just the right touch of lightness. In other words, Diane has mastered this genre. Or as other have said, her books are `amazingly fresh, charmingly funny, and embrace timeless values kindness, understanding, and respect'. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, July 15
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