Monday, March 14, 2011


For today's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, I'm recommending an older fairy tale. Originally published in 1980, THE ORDINARY PRINCESS, by M. M. Kaye is a delightfully illustrated little fairy tale, not unlike more recent ones by authors like Gail Carson Levine, excepting that Kaye's story isn't a retelling (though Sleeping Beauty might have been her great-great-great-great grandmother).

The Ordinary Princess

"Hmm!" said the Fairy Crustacea. "Wit, Charm, Courage, Health, Wisdom, Grace . . . Good gracious, poor child! Well, thank goodness my magic is stronger than anyone else's."

She raised her twisty coral stick and waved it three times over the cradle of the seventh princess. "My child," said the Fairy Crustacea, "I am going to give you something that will probably bring you more happiness than all these fal-lals and fripperies put together. You shall be Ordinary!"

I've no idea how many times my daughter and I have gone on Princess Amy's adventures with her, but the repeated readings have cost our poor little paperback half its cover. When Amy finds out that her parents (desperate to find a suitable husband for her) intend to hire a dragon to ravage the countryside and lock her in a tower, she runs away. I love that she works as a kitchen maid to support herself. Okay, and I love the boy. If you read the story, you'll have to tell me what you thought of him. Have any of you read this one?

If you'd like to read about more Marvelous Middle Grades, the following people would love to oblige you: 

Shannon Whitney Messenger (our founding mother)

Have a Marvelous Monday! 


  1. I haven't read this but my oldest princess will have to give it a go. I'll let you know what she thinks.

  2. I should read this, because I enjoyed M. M. Kaye's "The Far Pavilions."


  3. Gosh, I remember this book from when I first started working at the bookstore! Great story. Nice review, Myrna. I love it when people remind me of an older and still wonderful title.

    Thanks for the linkage, too!

  4. Oh, I've read it and I love it! I got it as a gift when I was little because I'm an Amie, and it starred Princess Amy. It's as close as you can get with my spelling. I read it over and again. Somebody's made off with my copy, but I'll have to go hunting for another. I'm feeling nostalgic! (I loved the boy too.)

  5. This looks like a lovely book.

    I miss many of the books I grew up with in the 80's, but I don't think I read this one.

  6. This book looks like so much fun! Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Myrna, I love the excerpt! I'll definitely have to check this one out. You and Robyn take it easy on that cover, okay? :)

    P.S. I gave you a blog award today.

  8. This was a favorite of mine, too, that was truly cherished! My daughter is no old enough to read it, so thanks for bringin it to mind. Now to dig in and find it... :)