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The Ordinary Princess Paperback – March 18, 2002

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 1090L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (March 18, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142300853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142300855
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.3 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (184 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A godmother's final "gift" transforms what should be the luckiest princess and most comely of all (born seventh, a good omen) into an ordinary-looking girl. But that does not stop Princess Amy from living an extraordinary life: she runs away from home when she is promised to a royal stranger. Ages 8-up.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

I read this as a girl and bought this copy to read to my daughter.
J. Hornung
Even as an adult I enjoy reading this fairy tale and highly recommend it for all young girls.
Sarah Pelley
It's a great fairy tale about an ordinary princess and her struggles for happiness.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Laura Bellamy on March 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
This was one of my very favorite books as a child, and I was crushed when it went out of print and I lost my own copy. When I learned a few years ago that it was being re-printed, I was overjoyed.
"The Ordinary Princess" is a delightful fairy tale with a bit of a twist -- the herione is NOT the mind-bogglingly gorgeous fairy tale princess we have come to expect. At birth, she is cursed by an ornery fairy..."You shall be ORDINARY!" Much to the embarrassment of the royal family, the curse immediately begins to manifest itself, and continues to do so throughout the course of the princess's life. She is overlooked in favor of her six extremely beautiful and perfectly-princessy older sisters. No matter what the royal court tries, Princess Amy remains as normal as any peasant.
"The Ordinary Princess" follows the quest of Princess Amy to make something of an ordinary life for herself, to go along with her very ordinary appearance. During which time, she meets -- and falls in love with -- a young "man-of-all-work" named Peregrine.
I shall not reveal to you how splendidly it ends, but it is absolutely charming. There are very few perfect books in this world, but this just happens to be one of them. It is clever and witty in its writing, charming in its story (as all fairy tales SHOULD be) and simple and sweet in its execution. It is every little girl's dream to be a princess, and this is an excellent princess story. Delightful from start to finish.
I admit to not being overly fond of the reprint's cover -- I preferred the original cover art -- but at least all of the orginial illustrations are included in this. M.M. Kaye not only wrote this book, she also illustrated it herself, and the drawings only augment the tale, making it even better than it already is.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
Tired of the usual Disneyfied blonde, sweet, graceful, elegant princesses? Read this book, in which we see a princess unlike any other. I'm glad that it will be reprinted shortly, as a fantasy story this good deserves to be read again and again.
The story opens in the kingdom of Phantasmorania (great name, no?), where the seventh royal princess is born. At first, Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne appears to be like any other beautiful, good-tempered princess. But then a crabby but well-meaning fairy puts a two-edged blessing on her: "You shall be ordinary!" And she is. To the dismay of the royals and the court, Amy is mousy-haired, snub-nosed, freckled, and thoroughly graceless. She prefers romping in the woods to drifting around playing with a golden ball, as her sisters do.
Dismayed, her parents try to rig up a crisis to get her married off. But Amy doesn't want to be treated in such a way, and has no wish to embarrass her family. So she sets off across the woods, and enters a neighboring kingdom, where she becomes a kitchen maid and has to work for the first time in her life. There she befriends a squirrel and a bird - and a mystery "man of all work" named Perry, who becomes her best friend...
M.M. Kaye, best known for her tales of India and other exotic lands, pens a delightful little fantasy story. This is not an epic, nor does it have ground-shattering impact on the world. Instead it is a smaller, more personal story about an ordinary girl who happens to be a princess. Amy's love story is charming as well, since she and Perry CHOOSE rather than are chosen. It also adds an extra dimension to their romance, since they are friends as well. Amy doesn't give in to fate, she makes her own. I know this sounds like a feminist retelling, but it isn't.
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40 of 50 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
When the seventh daughter of King Hulderbrand and Queen Rodehesia is born, the kingdom of Phantasmorania is in a state of extreme excitement. The birth of the seventh in a line of beautiful, blonde, angelic princesses, all named after precious jewels, is a special occasion. Baby Princess Amethyst is set to receive several virtues from the good fairies of the land, despite her father's misgivings, and the entire kingdom is celebrating.
But things do not always go as planned, as one fairy in particular is in a bit of a grumpy mood, and not at all eagar to dish out any more Wit, Charm, Courage, Health, Wisdom or Grace - instead she bestows the infant with Ordinariness, and at once Amethyst's golden curls are mousey, her perfect nose is covered in freckles, and her previously cooing baby-talk changes into a very loud scream. As she grows, the stately name of Amethyst drops to the simple "Amy", and her days are not filled with embroidery and harp-playing, but exersions into the Forest of Faraway.
Yet each of her sisters is eventually married off, and soon her parents despair of doing the same to her. A plot is hatched: to hire a dragon to ravage the land in the hopes that a Prince will come to rescue Amy, trapped in a high tower. Amy is disguisted at such a plan, and takes off for the forest, where she begins her own adventures...
M. M. Kaye's "The Ordinary Princess" is without a doubt a charming book, made all the more so by her simple, realistic, and often whimsical illustrations. The creation of an ordinary princess is a welcome to the world of literature in which beauty is predominant among descriptions of heroes and princesses, and it was one of the first of many similar journeys into "ugliness" as a virtue (the most well known being "Shrek").
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