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Princess Hyacinth (The Surprising Tale of a…
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Princess Hyacinth (The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated)

by Florence Parry Heide, Lane Smith (Illustrator)

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Summary:

Princess Hyacinth is a very unique princess, with a very unique problem that prevents her from playing outside like she imagines she would like to when she watches other children from her window. Princess Hyacinth is very sad, and feels the weight of her problem in the weighted clothes she must wear to prevent her from floating away. Rebelling against the rules that keep her from floating away, Hyacinth enlists the help of a balloon man to fly to her freedom. The balloon man is unable to hang on to Hyacinth and just when it seems she will float forever, she is caught up in the kite of the redheaded Boy she has been watching out her window. From that point on, Princess Hyacinth has a new friend and a way to deal with her problem of floating away.

Personal Reaction:

The story of Princess Hyacinth was an interesting concept, but the illustrations and the textual design made the story so much more interesting. Hidden within the illustrations were extra clues that furthered the storyline, such as the little dog that was the real reason the balloon man couldn't hold on to Princess Hyacinth. The clever play with the typeset and mix match of the words and font were interesting to see and added another dimension to the storyline. This story ends somewhat abruptly with a closed ending after following the continuous narration of Princess Hyacinth's struggle to keep her feet on the ground. My favorite part of this book was definitely the illustrations.

Classroom Extension Ideas:

1. Students can participate in a problem-solving writing prompt and come up with their own creative way to keep Princess Hyacinth's feet on the ground. Additionally students will illustrate their concept for keeping Princess Hyacinth grounded.

2. Students can participate in an application activity where different items are tested to find out if they will keep a helium filled balloon on the ground, or will be lifted off the ground (surface). Students can brainstorm to choose what items will be tested, and make predictions about what will keep the balloon "grounded" and what will "float away." ( )
  MaryMK | Sep 6, 2014 |
Princess Hyacinth suffers from loneliness because she is not allowed to play: she might float away. When she finally does get a chance, her new friendship with Boy proves to be the key to her happiness. Written in a charming style, with messages about risk-taking, specialness, and friendship. ( )
  kradish | Jul 30, 2014 |
Princess Hyacinth, in my nonprofessional opinion, should make top 100 lists of best children's picture books if for no other reason than the vocabulary and arrangement of text. For instance, on the page with the words "Princess Hyacinth floated", the words literally appear slightly cute off at the top of the page as if they were floating. This frolicsome tale contains themes of friendship, adventure, freedom, and finding yourself. After all, wouldn't these be appropriate issues for a princess who can't stay on the ground? ( )
  Laene | Apr 27, 2013 |
Library Media Connection 11/1/2009
School Library Journal 11/1/2009
School Library Journal 11/1/2009
Booklist 9/1/2009
Publisher's Weekly 8/17/2009
Kirkus Review 8/15/2009
  LizG | Jun 29, 2011 |
Poor Princess Hyacinth has a problem defying gravity! This is a great little story with a lot of imagination. Short and to the point, with pleasant illustrations by Lane Smith. ( )
  amandafack | Apr 27, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Florence Parry Heideprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, LaneIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375845011, Hardcover)

A bestselling Caldecott Honor artist and legendary author team up in this Parents' Choice Silver Award Book!

Truly a publishing event! Florence Parry Heide, author of such classics as the Shrinking of Treehorn, and Lane Smith, recipient of a slew of awards, have created an unforgettable princess sure to charm and delight young readers.

Princess Hyacinth has a problem: she floats. And so the king and queen have pebbles sewn into the tops of her socks, and force her to wear a crown encrusted with the heaviest jewels in the kingdom to keep her earthbound. But one day, Hyacinth comes across a balloon man and decides to take off all her princess clothes, grab a balloon, and float free. Hooray! Alas, when the balloon man lets go of the string . . . off she goes. Luckily, there is a kite and a boy named Boy to save her.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:30 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Princess Hyacinth is bored and unhappy sitting in her palace every day because, unless she is weighed down by specially-made clothes, she will float away, but her days are made brighter when kite-flying Boy stops to say hello.

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