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The Secret Lives of Princesses by Philippe Lechermeier Illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer

Published by Sterling Children’s Books (A division of Sterling Publishing)

Pages: 88

Ages: 7 and up

Publishers Summary: Go beyond Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella! Some princesses are well-known to all children—but others, equally magical (and sometimes, a lot funnier) have remained anonymous, mysterious, and far from the fairy-tale crowd. Now these captivating ladies are finally stepping out of the shadows where they’ve remained hidden for far too long. With wit, sublime humor, and beautiful art, The Secret Lives of Princesses introduces a bevy of royal daughters to the court of young readers.  While it alludes to some of their more famous sisters, this large and lusciously illustrated compendium presents such unique and unforgettable characters as the petite Princess Claire Voyant, who can see very far into tomorrow (but muddles her predictions); Princess Oblivia, who forgets everything and misses all her appointments; Princess Tangra-La, who does the tango, the fandango, and any dance that comes her way; and Princess Babbling Brooke, who chatters on and on about everything and nothing. Plus, you’ll learn about such princessy matters as the language of fans; coats of arms; and how not to offend dangerous fairies who cast evil spells.Poetic, often humorous, and always enchanting, this is the perfect collection for princess-loving girls who long for more than just the traditional fairy tale.

“Were you the little girl dying to have your turn with the magic wand and tiara? You know…the one who sang along with every Little Mermaid song or Sleeping Beauty aria. You could have even been the girl who sat in her room dreaming of far off places and new adventures in some fairytale land. Perhaps not, maybe you just happen to know a little girl who fits one of these situations. I know I do, at least a few of them actually, and this book is just perfect for them…and me for that matter.

The Secret Lives of Princesses is the other side of the coin when it comes to typical fairy tale princesses. Ever wonder what the real reason was for Sleeping Beauty’s hundred year sleep? It could be as simple as she’s related to the ever-so-sleepy Princess Somnia who can’t seem to be bothered to get out of bed even for the most important of events. And maybe Cinderella was really suffering from a case of memory loss when she forgot about her pumpkin carriage, similar to how Princess Oblivia forgets who she is on a regular basis. There is so much more to be learned from Princesses who stories have yet to be told, including their secrets, their pets, traditions and some very peculiar quirks. Each new-to-us Princess has something to share and none should be missed.

“One of the best parts about this book, besides the fantastic stories obviously, is the artwork. Each page you turn is like walking through an art gallery. I personally have many favorites that I’d love to have framed and hung in Littlebug’s bedroom. The illustrator, Rebecca Dautremer, is absolutely brilliant. The detail in each piece is phenomenal, because just when you think you’ve seen every little part you take another look to reveal a small button or thread coming loose. Amazing! The following images are taken straight from the book (courtesey of the publisher of course*), this first one is Princess For-A-Day because, unfortunately for her she is only a Princess for one day only.

Princess Molly Coddle’s Garden Maze:

“As I said, each illustration is a work of art on it’s own and is something adults and children will appreciate equally. Children because the art will come alive in their imaginations and carry them to these far off places. For adults, there are so many reasons adults will love the illustrations, but most importantly, you will be taken to that same place the little girl next to you is dreaming of as you read together these new and very fun stories.

The Secret Lives of Princesses was a book that I was immediately in love with from the moment I first had it in my hands. You will chuckle your way through page after page, but stare in awe at the beautiful artwork that accompanies each well-crafted story. It’s hard to imagine that these stories haven’t always exsisted, but they’re here now. Personally, as I mentioned already, I can think of at least three little girls in my life who will be enjoying a copy of this book very soon (as well as some very excited Mom’s, Aunt’s and Grandma’s). You absolutely don’t want to miss this wonderful book for all ages and imaginations.”

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 4 and up. Parents and children alike will laugh and be swept away by the wonderful stories and beautiful artwork behind these “new” Princesses and all their secrets.

For the Comments: Which of these new Princesses is your favorite? Take a look at the Portrait Gallery and come back and tell me. Not enough time? Who was your favorite as a child and what secret do you think they may have kept hidden?

The Secret Lives of Princesses Official Website with Fabulous Games:
Memory, Slide Puzzle, Matching, Personality Quiz, Portrait Gallery and Trading Card Info
The Secret Lives of Princesses Facebook Page

This book was provided by Sterling Children’s Books for review (find them online here and on Twitter here). Thank you!
*Images Reprinted with permission from The Secret Lives of Princesses. Illustrations © 2004 by Rébecca Dautremer, published by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.
Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our affiliate relationship with IndieBound.


22 Responses to Book Review: The Secret Lives of Princesses by Philippe Lechermeier

  1. ceemee says:

    This is a very interesting book! I’ve always loved fairytales and princesses!

  2. Wow. How beautiful. I want to frame that art 🙂

  3. Beautiful illustrations!!! My four-year-old daughter would love this book!

  4. Amused says:

    Wow, that artwork is captivating!

  5. NotNessie says:

    I. LOVE. IT. I need to have this book.

    Er, I mean… my daughter will really like it. It’s not for me. At all.

    • LOL!!! That was my thought exactly. Initially I just wanted it for myself, but fortunately I loved the book so much that I just can’t wait to share it with Littlebug, she’s going to love it too!

  6. Gwen says:

    I am so backed up on my RSS reader that I was going to pass you by until I caught a glimpse of the illustrations. Oh my, they are absolutely grand.

    Sadly, I was once most like Princess Anne Phibian. It took many, many frogs, but I finally found the right one:)

    • Oh no! You were going to pass me by? LOL. I completely understand, but I’m so so glad I was able to get the illustrations from the publisher. They’re so gorgeous!

      Isn’t it sad, I think we’re all a little like Princess Anne Phibian, but it’s so good there’s always the perfect frog out there. You just have to keep looking! 🙂

  7. Jen Vincent says:

    I saw this book at B&N not that long ago! It looks awesome. I love how artwork can make such an impact. I’m not sure which princess is my favorite! I think Princess Oblivia is funny…reminds me of trying to watch my son and other 3/4 year-olds trying to play kickball today. There was one girl who knew what was going and the rest were completely in the “outfield.” I’m going to have to go back and read this book!!!

  8. Kathy says:

    fI agree, the first time I saw this book I thought the pictures belonged on a wall. I didn’t get it because I think it interest wise, it falls between my two kids, but I may get it for myself. I love beautiful art in kids books, When I read to my daughter, I try to show her (briefly) what technique the artist used to make the pictures.

    • You should definitely get just for yourself! I’m holding on to my copy until Littlebug is a bit older so that I can share it with her when she’ll appreciate it a bit better.

  9. Jennifer G. says:

    What an adorable book! I’m afraid I’d be Princess Somnia. My family likes to compare stories about how long I’ve slept or what I slept through. What can I say? It’s a talent I have! 😉

    I’m reading your review, admiring the artwork, and thinking, “I need to get this for my young cousin. She’ll love it!” And then it’s like, “Ah, who am I kidding? I need it for ME!” My birthday’s coming up and I think I’ll add this to my wishlist. And I’ll get it for the princess-y cousin. Thanks for the review!

    • Yay! You are so so welcome! You will absolutely love it! That’s hilarious that you sleep through so much. I think I could now, since I never get sleep with the kiddos around. I truly could fall asleep at any moment. 🙂

  10. Andrea says:

    That is awesome! I will have to check this out, it is so cool.

  11. Charlotte says:

    This one has been fascinating me for ages–I must get a hold of it!

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