The Radically Awesome Adventures of the Animal Princess: Balloon Toons by Pranas T Naujokaitis

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The Radically Awesome Adventures of the Animal Princess: Balloon Toons by Pranas T Naujokaitis

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Margaret Young
Reviewed by Margaret Young
Summary: A little princess who likes muck and mess and plenty of adventure - and don't worry she will be certain to defend the brave knight as well.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 40 Date: April 2013
Publisher: Blue Apple Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1609052966

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I know so many parents who are completely fed up with the stereotyped role of little girls and especially princesses in stories. If you are looking for stories with a totally different type of princess, then this book is for you. The little princess, or Animal Princess as she is known, is most certainly not a damsel in distress. She is an active heroine boldly seeking adventure, and the messier the better. Rather than looking like a beauty pageant winner in a formal gown, the little Animal Princess looks refreshingly child like in the illustrations. I am delighted to see a princess drawn with the proportions of an ordinary child rather than a Barbie doll. She also prefers nice comfortable animal pyjamas to ball gowns.

This book is part of a unique new series, Ballooon Toons. Today I suppose this book would best be referred to as a graphic novel for early primary aged children. In my day it would have been a comic book but with a sturdy hard back binding. The story is presented in cartoon cells with speech bubbles, just like a comic book. It also has three short stories, like many of the comics for younger children used to have. The illustrations are colourful and well drawn, and the character's emotions are easily read by facial expression. A child struggling to read the text will still be able to understand the story through the pictures.

The first adventure begins as the Animal Princess has clearly finished another adventure - defeating the evil sewer monster. The next day she must face true horror - a ball gown. Thankfully her trusty animal pyjamas are not far away when her parents and the entire kingdom need rescuing. I loved the distaste on the Princesses face when forced into a gown and I especially loved the compromise her parents came to for the royal ball. It's nice to see that a girl who doesn't want to be the traditional princess can still be just as loved and valued.

Her next adventure includes a brave knight, but rather than be rescued, she fights alongside him, at least until they realise that there are other ways to solve things than violence. The final and best story of all involves a dragons quest - and learning to tidy up as well. This book is a breathe of fresh air after so many overly glamorised books depicting children who look more like adults. Its wonderful to see a book that not only lets little girls be little girls, it positively celebrates childhood and everything that goes with it. The Animal Princess is the prefect heroine for today's little girls.

As a read aloud book, this book is easily a five star offering. As a book for new readers though, as advertised, I'm afraid it just doesn't meet my expectations. The vocabulary is far better suited to a confident reader. I would not recommend this book for child to read on their own before they have mastered book band orange - level 6 in their school books or with Oxford's reading programmes. But don't let this minor complaint put you off purchasing this book. If your child is confident enough to enjoy it alone, all fine and well. If not, this is still a lovely book for sharing.

If this book appeals then we can also recommend:

Akissi by Marguerite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin

Troll Swap by Leigh Hodgkinson

Buy The Radically Awesome Adventures of the Animal Princess: Balloon Toons by Pranas T Naujokaitis at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Radically Awesome Adventures of the Animal Princess: Balloon Toons by Pranas T Naujokaitis at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Radically Awesome Adventures of the Animal Princess: Balloon Toons by Pranas T Naujokaitis at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Radically Awesome Adventures of the Animal Princess: Balloon Toons by Pranas T Naujokaitis at Amazon.com.


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