4 out of 5 stars.
There are two types of picture books I go for: 1) Adorable and funny, or 2) Exquisitely illustrated. This one falls firmly in the latter category.
The story is a cute one about a princess who is too poor and hard-working to go to the ball to meet the prince. In fact, she doesn’t really like princes. They tend to not do much. Instead, she needs a gardener to help her get ready for a party.
The illustrations are a wonderful blend of colourful bits that look like a surreal blend of painting and collage, set up against backgrounds and foregrounds that are pure black silhouettes. The contrast really makes the colours pop, and gives the tale a bit of an old-fashioned, wood-cut illustration feel. The entire book is lush and charming.
This is a must-read for parents who are tired of run-of-the-mill princess books and want something a little more quirky and a lot more visually interesting.