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Princess Justina Albertina Hardcover – February 1, 2007

9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1—Princess Justina Albertina likes getting her own way. Her nanny, when faced with a choice between a headache-inducing royal tantrum or giving in to the princess's demands, always caves. So when the youngster insists on getting the perfect pet, her nanny does her best to oblige, scouring the Earth for unusual animals. None of them is quite right, though: the puffer fish ignores the princess, she cannot ride the two-headed dog, and the monkey scares too easily. Finally, the nanny returns with a fierce gryphon, which the princess declares is perfect. This time, however, Princess Justina Albertina has bitten off more than she can chew, with tragic results. The book's cover hints at what is to come: while the princess dances in the background, a grim-faced nanny holds up a sign that reads, "A Cautionary Tale." Humorous details pack the cartoon illustrations, which are done with a mix of watercolor, colored pencil, and gouache. The nanny's outfit changes for each expedition: lederhosen for the unicorn, a wet suit for surfing Australia's shark-infested waters. The princess is frankly repulsive, with buck teeth, a piggy nose, and fierce green eyes glaring through round glasses. Nanny and the rejected pets clearly find her intimidating. The busy spreads contrast well with the dramatic conclusion, in which the nanny is left standing all alone, saying "Oh, dear." The end result is a deliciously satisfying tale about the dangers of acting like a spoiled princess.—Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County Library System, Portland, OR
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Ellen Dee Davidson is the author of Stolen Voices (Lobster Press). Princess Justina Albertina is her first picture book. She lives in Bayside, California. Visit her online at www.ellendeedavidson.com.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 680L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge; 1St Edition edition (January 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570916527
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570916526
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,024,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I love to read and write and talk! I love words! I agree that language is one of the most creative aspects of human evolution -- and it is constantly evolving, along with us. It is such a miracle that we are able to communicate with each other on so many different levels -- share precise states of feeling, wisdom, knowledge, emotions, and stories.

So far, most of the stories I've shared have been for children and young adults. I have been told that my writing "voice" is young. I guess part of this is that I still feel like a kid inside -- always in the process of both being and becoming.

Besides writing, my life is filled with joy from sharing it with my husband, Steve, and daughters Jessica and Michelle, as well as other friends and family. I love living in the redwoods of northern California, and spend much time hiking in their majesty, strolling the beach, and swimming in emerald rivers. Often, while I am out in nature, ideas for stories come to me. Although the stories aren't usually about the actual places, I'm hoping to share some of the beauty and magic.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on February 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Princess Justina Albertina likes to get her own way and if she doesn't--look out! When she decides she wants a pet, it is up to her nanny to find a pet with all the perfect qualities.

In this escalating story of a spoiled little girl, the author uses unusual animals with unique qualities that most any child would treasure. There is a wonderful moral to the story, but kids don't seem put off by that in the least, as it is funny rather than preachy. The illustrations are perfect for the text--and boy, will mothers recognize Princess Justina Albertina in her fit element.

In my first read through, I reached the final page and burst out laughing. My kids want to read it again and again and love to discuss the many different facets of the book. Boys and girls alike love this book and my three kids give it six thumbs up. I have to add my two thumbs to the count.

Armchair Interviews says: This book is a treasure to any child's library.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mags on June 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Get this book if you want to have a good giggle with your kid! It's like Mrs. Pigglewiggle with a twist - or a fractured fairy tale with a bite! Great for kids who have developed their sense of humor a bit - and for parents who want to develop a sense of humor on those occasions kids are demanding. A "must read". Another plus for tired parents: it's funny AND short!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Princess Justina Albertina: A Cautionary Tale is a whimsical picturebook with an underlying moral - be very careful what you wish for! Princess Justina Albertina, a chubby, bad-tempered child princess used to getting her own way and giving her nanny headaches, wants a pet - but not just any pet will do. She mistreats and finds fault with every rare and exotic pet her nanny brings, and finally throws a tantrum until her nanny gives in and brings back the ultimate pet - a majestic griffon. "As soon as she saw him, Princess Justina Albertina ran over and said, 'He's perfect. He's exactly the pet I want.' The griffon opened his eagle beak and swallowed Princess Justina Albertina in one gulp. Then the griffon burped and flew away." The color illustrations vividly bring a spoiled young girl and her gaggle of amazing animals to life in this zany story with message.
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Format: Hardcover
Reviewed by Three Silly Chicks - Readers, Writers, and Reviewers of funny books for kids.

The title character of this cautionary tale, Princess Justina Albertina, is one of those horrid little girls you love to hate. She's nasty and bratty, spoiled and mean; a despicable twit who could easily give Veruca Salt a run for her money. You know the type.

Her nanny, on the other hand, rocks the casbah. When Justina demands a pet, nanny comes through. When Justina demands a BETTER pet, nanny comes through again. When Justina demands an EVEN BETTER pet, her unflappable, invincible nanny comes through yet again...until Princess Justina Albertina finally gets the pet she deserves.

Heh, heh, heh.

We won't tell you what happens next, but let's just say the princess suffers a fate worse than Veruca's. But lest you wonder whether the finale's a bit too grim for youngsters, rest assured that our unofficial focus group (a spry group of kinders from Ottawa, Illinois) found the ending so delightfully delicious, they immediately asked for seconds...and so will you!

Michael Chesworth's illustrations are a winsome hoot, the perfect accompaniment to Ellen Dee Davidson's wry, clever text. Don't miss this one!
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By just idlin on February 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
[review by my 5-year-old daughter] I tell my mom to read this book all the time. It is so funny, we read it over and over again. I sometimes read it in bed to my stuffed animals. My stuffed animals laugh every time.

**From Mom: This is one of my favorite children's books. So, so funny (shocking, even!), and a great morality tale, to boot. I read it at my daughter's birthday party and all 10 girls clamored for me to read it 2 more times. They would have asked for more if the cake wasn't ready to be eaten!
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