Review Blog

Jun 26 2017

The Cherry Pie Princess by Vivian French

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Ill. by Marta Kissi. Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781406368970
(Age: 7-9) Themes: Magic, Princes and Princesses, Castle Life. Princess Peony lives in a castle with parents the King and Queen and her six older sisters. Their lives are ordered and organised - even a visit to the Royal Library is strictly controlled. Whilst the governess quickly herds the older girls through, young Princess Peony expresses her interests in the recipe books. After she's hurried away by the strict Miss Beef, the chief librarian Denzil Longbeard notices a cooking book about pies and pastries is missing. For a short while, the youngest princess enjoys cooking in the castle kitchen, until the King finds out and bans her.
When a baby prince is born, his parents plan for an elaborate christening party and invitations are sent out to the most important people including magical creatures. The King refuses to invite the wicked hag; this of means there will be magical mayhem at the upcoming event.
The story switches focus to the Hag's preparation of a magical brew in her cauldron and the three fairy godmothers' plans to attend the party. Basil the talking cat observes the activities at the palace and reports to the fairies.
Just after her thirteenth birthday, feisty Princess Peony discovers that Mr. Longbeard, the librarian, was thrown in the dungeon for talking to her when she visited the library. She finds herself locked in the dungeon for speaking out of turn to her father. Of course, she escapes and with the help of Basil and the other prisoners, she's in the right place at the right time to foil the hag's plans to steal young Prince Vincenzo.
The Cherry Pie Princess is an easy to read junior novel written by Vivian French. She is a popular children's author who understands the interests of her young audience, girls who enjoy princesses, life in a castle and magical creatures. Marta Kissi's beautiful and humorous black and white illustrations display the adventures of the determined and creative Princess Peony.
Rhyllis Bignell

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