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The Apple-Pip Princess by Jane Ray
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The Apple-Pip Princess (2008)

by Jane Ray

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This picture book tells the tale of three princesses in line for the throne. The littlest princess shows that hard work and the caring of others will get you far in life. I think the lesson in this fairytale is far better then most.
  SRThompson | Nov 20, 2014 |
In this gorgeous original fairy-tale from English author/artist Jane Ray, an elderly king - weighed down by sorrow after the death of his wife - proclaims that, of his three daughters, his kingdom will go to the one who makes the greatest 'mark' on their land. Suzanna, the clever eldest, decides to build a massive wooden tower, in order to demonstrate her importance; while Miranda, the vain middle one, builds a metal tower to mirror her beauty. It is the youngest daughter, humble Serenity, who has no idea what to do, who triumphs in the end, however, using her mother's box of blessings to transform the land itself into a lush paradise...

Visually stunning - as usual with her books, I loved Ray's artwork here, with its beautiful colors, golden accents, and mosaic-like sensibility - and boasting an appealing tale, The Apple-Pip Princess is structured like a traditional tale (three sisters, a competition, etc.), but imparts a very contemporary ethic of caring for the environment. I appreciated the message, and the fact that it was embedded in an entertaining story, I appreciated the fact that the royal family here are of African descent/appearance (one can't describe them as being "African-American," as I have seen some reviewers do, as this is not, of course, an American book), and I simply loved the artwork! All in all, a top-notch picture-book, one I recommend to all young fairy-tale lovers, and to fans of Jane Ray. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 14, 2013 |
First things first: How many times, seriously, do you read a fairy-tale with a black protagonist? Particularly a real, honest-to-goodness princess? Not a merchant's daughter or a scholar's daughter or a randomly wealthy girl. Not a retelling of Goldilocks or Red Riding Hood.

The answer is probably never, unless you make a special effort. And even then... close to never.

This is not a traditional fairy tale, nor a retelling of one. But it reads like it is. Three princesses are competing to see which one will inherit the kingdom. Two of them go waaaaaay overboard and requisition all the metal and wood in the kingdom (even roofs and fences and bells) to build towers to aggrandize themselves. ("They'll be so happy to be ruled by me, they won't mind being poor and hungry!" Yeah, right. Plus, they're throwing people willy-nilly into the dungeon.)

The third, aptly named Serenity, fears she can't do anything, but she uses her mother's gift to try, and - with the gift and with help from the rest of her country - replants, apparently, the entire countryside. In a week. Well, there's some magic involved, and it flows together nicely.

The language is rich and deep, and very evocative. It is a bit of a long story, and some of the metaphors involved may go right over a smaller child's head - keep the 4 - 8 age range in mind. ( )
  conuly | Jun 15, 2009 |
My four-year-old loves this book and asks me to read it again and again. ( )
  byroade | Aug 2, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763637475, Hardcover)

With sumptuous artwork, Jane Ray tells an original fairy tale of a humble princess whose love for nature’s beauty restores a kingdom.

Once there was a kingdom full of laughter, happiness, trees, and birdsong. But when the queen dies, the land becomes quiet and barren, and everyone is filled with sadness. What will make the kingdom bloom again? Can Serenity, the youngest of three princesses, bring hope and life back to her kingdom with a single apple pip — a precious seed left to her by her mother? This original fairy tale is brought to life and exquisitely illustrated by the internationally renowned Jane Ray.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:24 -0400)

In a land that has stood barren, parched by drought and ravaged by frosts since the Queen's death, the King sets his three daughters the task of making the kingdom bloom again, and discovers that sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest difference.… (more)

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Candlewick Press

An edition of this book was published by Candlewick Press.

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