Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Book Review // An Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye

Livia, Jenelle, and Jessica all three recommended this to me before the Cinderella Week so, of course, I promptly had to place a hold for it on interlibrary loan. And I’m so happy I did! A children’s short chapter book, I read it in one afternoon last week and, honestly, I haven’t laughed over a book this much in a Very Long Time.

In tone and content it reminds me a lot of Howard Pyle’s Wonder Clock and also A.A. Milne’s Ugly Duckling play (which you can read in full here). Thoroughly charming and evocative, the pictures are also reminiscent of Pyle. Sadly, I don’t think the copy I read (the same as pictured) had all the original illustrations, but the ones it did have were delightful! 

Now for my initial major concern before reading it. *coughs* In short I love ‘beautiful princess’ stories, so I thought it might tend toward being one of those overtly ‘moralistic’ tales (I’ve run across a number of those over the years and -- no offense, intended -- they’re really just not my thing), but as it turns out, in this case I needn’t have worried in the slightest. The stereotypically beautiful princesses are portrayed as being more ‘boring’ than otherwise, but they’re still good and true, etc., while the ordinary princess herself has a good spice of naughtiness and impish mischief. So it’s definitely not a categorical dissertation on/forced contrast between inner and outer beauty.

I wouldn’t strictly call it a Cinderella retelling, but there are some definite Cinderella-ish threads -- particularly the princess having animal friends, taking a job for a while as a kitchen maid, sleeping in an attic, etc., and (later) the stressed importance of the prince/king choosing a wife. I think the scriptwriters and directors of the 2015 film most certainly read/studied it, making some stunning, ever-so-much-more-so bows to it in places, especially with the running inclusion of the Lavender’s Blue ballad, the strong presence of the forest, the whole equation of mistaken identities, the princess ultimately marrying a king, and so on. 

Here’s a fun little excerpt from the very beginning to give you an idea of the style (and note, the ‘king’ here is her father):

“I can only repeat,” said the King stubbornly, “that to invite fairies to a christening is asking for trouble. And getting it,” he added gloomily. “Speaking for myself,” said the King, “I’d far rather ask several man-eating tigers. You may have forgotten what happened to my great-great-great-grandmother, but I have not. Had to sleep for a hundred years, poor girl, and the entire court with her, and all because of some silly fairy-business at the christening.”

“But Your Majesty forgets,” put in the Prime Minister, “that the unfortunate episode you refer to was due to gross neglect and carelessness. History tells us that an influential fairy was not invited. But on this occasion I, personally, will take the greatest possible care that no such calamity occurs again.” And the Prime Minister tried to look very uncareless indeed.

“The Lord High Chamberlain hastened to add that no single member of King Oberon’s court would be omitted from the list of guests: “And we must not forget,” he pointed out, “that as Her Majesty has said, these—er—persons have it in their power to bestow the most valuable of gifts. For your daughter’s sake—” urged the Lord High Chamberlain.

“Oh, all right, all right,” said the King peevishly. “Don’t let’s go over all that again. But you mark my words,” he said, “I’d much rather have a nice silver-plated christening mug from a nice solid baron than some chancy thing like Unfading Beauty from a tricky creature with wings and a wand! Besides,” said the King, “who’s to tell that some tiresome fairy won’t get out of the wrong side of her bed that day and give my daughter Perpetual Bad Temper instead? Answer me that!”

~     ~     ~

So yes, altogether sweet and fun, this is one I’d love to reread and eventually add to my collection!

Tell me! Have you read An Ordinary Princess and what did you think? 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Blogging-About-Blogs Tag!

(I've been feeling like a tag and couldn't resist making this... :))

My friend Hamlette (really and actually an incredibly splendid fairy godmother ;)) just concocted this wonderful tag here yesterday and I immediately sat down to start filling it out. (Thank you, Hamlette -- your timing's so impeccable!!! :))

(Note: I've taken the liberty of putting several blogs under a few headings in places and please remember, too, that blogs that make me laugh also definitely make me think, and blogs that make me think may also have beautiful headers and so on... you get the idea. Oh! And I also added two categories of my own at the end.)

Now do enjoy! These are all most lovely bloggers (some being dear friends outside the blogging world as well) and I hope you find some beautiful new places to visit!

The Rules

Thank the person who tagged you
Answer the questions
Tag some blogging friends

~ The Questions ~

Blogs that make me laugh (i.e. with happiness and humor)
Susanna ~ Miss Adventure

Blog that makes me think
Raquel ~ It's Just Raquel

Blog that teaches me things

Blog with beautiful headers

Blogger who takes great pictures
Kathryn Grace ~ Kathryn Grace Photography

Blogger whose recommendations I trust
My sister Éowyn ~ Captured by the Word and High Noon

New blogs I'm enjoying
Abby P. ~ Lavender Spring
Emilie Grace ~ My Little Corner

Blogs I've followed the longest
Melody ~ Regency Delight

Blogs I've started following the most recently
Abigail ~ Castles in the Air

Blogs that are always a refreshing happiness
Kelly-Anne ~ Beautiful Girlhood

Blogs where I revel in the words
Victoria ~ Hopewriter

And I now tag...

First, anyone reading this who feels inspired and would like to do it! And also (officially) the following bloggers -- some of whom I've dearly enjoyed visiting with for a while and others I’m recently enjoying getting better acquainted with:

Ivy Miranda ~ Revealed in Time
Miss March ~ Sunshiny Corner
Livia Rachelle ~ Rose Petals and Faerie Dust
Cordy ~ Write On, Cordy

And for copying ease, here are the questions again:

Blog that makes me laugh
Blog that makes me think
Blog that teaches me things
Blog with beautiful headers
Blogger who takes great pictures
Blogger whose recommendations I trust
New blog I'm enjoying
Blog I've followed the longest
Blog I've started following the most recently
Blog that is always a refreshing happiness
Blog where I revel in the words

Do let me know if you're able to fill it out as I'd love to read your answers!!

(P.S. And this is our 150th post here! Most exciting, is it not? :))

Friday, January 15, 2016

Period Drama Challenge/Film List

This is a quick post announcing that I'm joining in Miss Laurie's 2016 Period Drama Film Challenge here. I'm definitely in the Fanatics Category (i.e. I know I'll be watching at least 12-15 films between now and July), but I'm not sure how many I can review, so I'm starting with five. (One can always work up, can't one? ;)) Tentatively, I'm thinking of doing some or all of the following (and obviously, I can't vouch for the ones I haven't seen yet):


(Haven't seen this one yet.)

(Haven't seen this one either.)

(Or this one.)

So do you think any of those look intriguing? Any particularly you'd like a review of?

And I'll leave you with this... found via Pinterest the other day. (I do love Pinterest. ;))

An excellent summary for this next year...

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Our Grand and Long Awaited Cinderella Party/Blogathon Link-Up and Giveaway Winners!

Here we are at the end of our wonderful week! And first and foremost, an enormous thank you to each one of you for all your contagious joy and excitement. Your participation truly made it such a sparkly, entirely incredible, epic occasion. Thank you all so much!!!  I'm so happy to have so many fellow Cinderella loving friends. You're all amazing. :)

This post has taken me a while to finish off as there are so many links! I've tried hard to make sure everything is accurate and links through properly, but let me know if I've missed anything and it'd also be great if you could test your link/s, etc. (just so we make sure no one gets lost). I've also included a few earlier posts/reviews that were linked in the comments. 

*drumroll* And now for our links themselves!

~ Additional Cinderella Posts ~

~ Cinderella Tag Answers ~

~ Film reviews ~

Cinderella with Mary Pickford - 1914


Cinderella (R&H) - 1997



(NR, but I'd say similar intensity to Ever After)

Three Wishes (aka Three Nuts) for Cinderella

~ Book reviews ~

Giveaway Winners:

(And yes, I freely admit I made you scroll all the way to the bottom of the post on purpose. ;))

Our winners are:

  • Ivy Miranda ~ Cinderella 2015 DVD
  • Blessing Counter ~ Ever After DVD
  • Lois Johnson ~ Dark blue and pink beaded bracelet
  • Olivia ~ Ice blue and white beaded bracelet 

Congratulations! I'll be contacting you all directly by email and I'll just need a reply by January 15th. (Note, Hamlette's giveaway is still going here through midnight Monday morning.)

~     ~     ~

*And now a deep breath* Wow, what a week this has been!! I have a growing feeling it's going to be super hard to come down off this marvelous time... so I'm very purposefully concentrating on the coming pleasure of soon visiting all your wonderful posts (that I haven't been able to read properly yet) and also rewatching Some of My Very Favorites. ;)

Many blessings to you all, dear friends!!

How are you all doing wrapping up the party? Shall we stand by each other and keep smiles going round in this next week? :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...