Title: The Perilous Princess Plot
Author: Sarah Courtauld
Published By: Square Fish, 2016
As the girls get older, I know we’ll be reading fewer and fewer picture books together (I’ll still read them by myself, because I love them), but there are some truly wonderful chapter books out there. The girls and I have a huge soft spot for humorous books (we’ve been devouring the Nanny Piggins series), and we absolutely loved The Perilous Princess Plot by Sarah Courtauld.
The story is about two sisters, Lavender and Eliza. Immediately, Vivi and Lily were totally interested. They LOVE stories that remind them of their relationship/themselves. The girls live with their Grandma Maud, who’s quite obsessed with death and disease. (She’s specifically focused on the Black Death, and warns the girls about its symptoms and progression. This is funnier than I’m describing it, trust me.) Eliza, the younger sister, is hardworking and practical. Lavender, the older sister, is focused on becoming a princess. After Lavender sneaks away in search of her prince, Eliza must find her (with the help of Gertrude the goat) and rescue her. And hilarity, of course, ensues.
Here, in no particular order, were some bits that made us all laugh out loud:
- The princes page. Lavender has pictures of princes on her wall. All of the names are pretty hilarious, but the funniest was Sir Kanye the Anachronistic. After explaining who Kanye West is and what an anachronism is, the girls found it tremendously funny as well.
- Bonnet. He’s a small giant, so that’s funny already. Add in the fact that he’s bumbling but well-meaning, and you’ve got a wonderful not-quite-villain.
- Mordmont the villain. He’s excellent, as far as villains go. The girls loved the fact that he lost half his castle in a poker game (depicted in a picture of him getting poked). They loved the fact that the castle rooms were all punny. (Think: a scullery full of skulls! A pantry made of a tree of pants!) Mordmont isn’t a scary villain (despite having a dragon-filled moat), so Lily was a fan.
- Lavender’s terrible songs. I had a blast doing voices for this story, and singing the songs in an awful off-key voice was delightfully fun.
- The footnotes. Some of them are a riot.
- The drawings. While they’re definitely not what you’d expect in a chapter book (think: simple, childlike in quality), they work with the overall quirkiness of the story.
Overall, The Perilous Princess Plot reminded us a bit of Roald Dahl, a bit of Monty Python and a bit of SpongeBob SquarePants. It’s really, really NOT a princess-y story, even though one of the main characters wants to be a princess. It’s an adventure, it’s hilarious and it’s something you should pick up ASAP. After all, don’t we all need a good laugh these days?
PS- We’ve just started the sequel and so far, so good.
Mama, Vivi & Lily’s Review: 5 pointy princess hats out of 5