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9 Reviews
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3 star:    (0)
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the lovliest storybooks of all time, April 25, 2005
By 
Amazon Customer (One of the Great Lakes States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Plain Princess (Hardcover)
The plain princess is plain, and this is a tragedy for the kingdom. Her eyes don't sparkle, her nose turns up instead of down, her mouth turns down instead of up, and she simply has no friends. The King and Queen offer a reward to anybody who can help her overcome her difficulties.

A widowed mother of five daughters takes on the task, taking the Plain Princess home with her to work her own magical cure, which involves working with her own hands, climbing tress, and thinking of others instead of herself.

McGinley is witty, and even though it sounds like dry bread moral tale, it is in fact a sweet and frothy mixture of love, lessons and laughter. I cherish my copy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book is Beautiful, December 27, 2010
This review is from: The Plain Princess (Hardcover)
I would dearly love to see this book in print again. It's a charming fairy tale about a young princess who learns what beauty and happiness really mean.

Esmeralda is the only child of the king and queen, and she has just about everything that a girl could want. The author paints a pretty picture of Esmeralda's life at the castle and all of the beautiful things she has. However, Esmeralda has one serious problem: she is plain. In her kingdom, in order for a girl to be considered beautiful, her nose must turn down, her mouth must turn up, and her eyes must have a twinkle in them. Esmeralda's appearance is exactly the opposite. It is a serious problem because her plainness causes people to lose respect for her, and the prince that she is betrothed to refuses to take much of an interest in her. Although her parents consult the finest physicians and wizards available, none of them can provide any solutions for Esmeralda's condition. It is only after the king places an advertisement in the newspaper that a widow with five daughters of her own comes to the castle and offers a solution. However, she insists that Esmeralda must come and live with her family for nine months. At first, Esmeralda is distressed at leaving her home and living in much simpler circumstances that she is accustomed to, but the reasons soon become as plain as the princess herself.

In spite of the fairy tale atmosphere, there is not really any magic in the story, as the widow herself points out. The real magic of the story is in the lessons that Esmeralda learns: that beauty and change come from within and that the way we see ourselves and those around us is important. The book also has some very pretty illustrations, some of which are wide scenes taking up two pages. It's a beautiful book and a beautiful story for any young girl.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book is Beautiful, August 15, 2008
This review is from: Plain Princess (Hardcover)
I would dearly love to see this book in print again. It's a charming fairy tale about a young princess who learns what beauty and happiness really mean.

Esmeralda is the only child of the king and queen, and she has just about everything that a girl could want. The author paints a pretty picture of Esmeralda's life at the castle and all of the beautiful things she has. However, Esmeralda has one serious problem: she is plain. In her kingdom, in order for a girl to be considered beautiful, her nose must turn down, her mouth must turn up, and her eyes must have a twinkle in them. Esmeralda's appearance is exactly the opposite. It is a serious problem because her plainness causes people to lose respect for her, and the prince that she is betrothed to refuses to take much of an interest in her. Although her parents consult the finest physicians and wizards available, none of them can provide any solutions for Esmeralda's condition. It is only after the king places an advertisement in the newspaper that a widow with five daughters of her own comes to the castle and offers a solution. However, she insists that Esmeralda must come and live with her family for nine months. At first, Esmeralda is distressed at leaving her home and living in much simpler circumstances that she is accustomed to, but the reasons soon become as plain as the princess herself.

This edition of the book is actually a play based on the original. I didn't realize this when I posted this review. I have another copy of the review posted on an edition of the original book.

In spite of the fairy tale atmosphere, there is not really any magic in the story, as the widow herself points out. The real magic of the story is in the lessons that Esmeralda learns: that beauty and change come from within and that the way we see ourselves and those around us is important. The book also has some very pretty illustrations, some of which are wide scenes taking up two pages. It's a beautiful book and a beautiful story for any young girl.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent all around, February 7, 2013
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This review is from: The Plain Princess (Paperback)
I received The Plain Princess within a week of ordering it. It was in excellent condition as advertised. The story itself is very cute with a poignant message about arrogance and how it affects how others see you as we'll as how you see yourself. I'm highly considering directing it at our school.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable story, November 23, 2012
By 
Debbie (Harrison, AR United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Plain Princess (Hardcover)
"The Plain Princess" is a children's picture book. It's a fun little book about how a spoiled, disagreeable child is viewed as plain, but as she learns to be helpful and unselfish, she becomes "beautiful." It's a nice lesson and an entertaining sequence of events illustrated with colorful drawings (like those on the cover). It's probably not easy to find, but I do recommend this enjoyable story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful and memorable book, November 1, 2012
This review is from: The Plain Princess (Hardcover)
it's got to have been pretty memorable, because I have a terrible memory, and I'm remembering reading it from when I was about ten. I picked it up in our library, which often hung on to good books even though they were a little out of date. I LOVED this book -- so charming. A real feel good story. No swords and dragons but a lot of sweetness -- and I mean that in a good way. I wish it were back in print, too.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great lesson in humanity and growth, March 4, 2009
This review is from: Plain Princess (Hardcover)
What a great story and lesson for people, not just little girls. I played Esmerelda on stage more than 15 years ago and what a fun role to play. I got to be my worst and best and I love children's theater and literature. What a great transformation she goes through learning to respect other people and herself. Two theater thumbs up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, November 17, 2014
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This review is from: The Plain Princess (Hardcover)
A classic from my childhood - love sharing the story with my granddaughter.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, September 4, 2014
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This review is from: Plain Princess (Hardcover)
I read this book as a child and wanted a copy as a gift.
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The Plain Princess
The Plain Princess by Phyllis McGinley (Paperback - December 1, 1955)
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