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).
"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!