Prince Charmless by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross

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Prince Charmless by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jo Heffer
Reviewed by Jo Heffer
Summary: From the moment that he was born, Prince Charmless always found something to complain about. In fact, he complains so much that all the people who look after him in the royal palace decide to leave. This, of course, means that the prince has no choice but to look after himself and there’s nobody else for him to complain to. How on earth will he manage?
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: February 2013
Publisher: Andersen
ISBN: 9781849395120

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Prince Charmless was probably born complaining and every day there is something new to complain about. Amongst his complaints are that he wants to be a panda rather than a prince; he wants to live in a big, gold palace instead of a silly, silver, little one; and he wants to get up in the middle of the night rather than in the morning. If he can find something to complain about, he will, and Prince Charmless does not worry about upsetting people when he does complain. Unsurprisingly, the palace staff has had enough and all decide to leave.

As the king and queen still have the country to rule, they can’t look after Prince Charmless themselves so have no option but to leave him to look after himself. That means that the little prince has to get himself up; make his own breakfast; tie his own laces; and walk instead of being driven around by the chauffeur. You would imagine that having to do all these would make him more ungracious than ever but surprisingly that is not the case. For the first time ever, Prince Charmless does exactly what he wants as there is no one else around to organise his day for him. There is also no one to complain to and absolutely nothing to complain about. When the queen kisses him goodnight he is a changed boy – so different that now he is always called Prince Charming and nearly always lives up to his name.

This is a very enjoyable book that I am sure that most children will enjoy a lot. It also has a message with it as it demonstrates very well how much more enjoyable life is when one is not complaining and how the little prince is much more likeable when he starts appreciating things. The illustrations portray this really well as, at the beginning of the book, Prince Charmless is always scowling and at the end, he looks so much happier. As well as that, there is a great deal of detail and humour in the pictures and these are all worth spending time looking at.

The story is well written and certainly captured the interest of my young daughter. It’s a funny story with a great central character. There’s also quite a lot of dialogue which makes it a good book for reading out loud and putting on different voices. There is also not too much text on any page thus making this an ideal book for emerging readers to have a go with on their own.

Overall, we enjoyed this funny, charming book a great deal and we thoroughly recommend it.

Why not also take a look at Mammoth Pie, also by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross.

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Buy Prince Charmless by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Prince Charmless by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Prince Charmless by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Prince Charmless by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross at


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