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*Princess Bubble* by Kimberly Webb and Susan Johnston, illustrated by Maria Tonelli
Princess Bubble
by Kimberly Webb and Susan Johnston, illustrated by Maria Tonelli
Ages 6+ 35 pages Bubble Gum Press January 2006 Hardcover    

When I saw the cover of this book, I groaned a little: “Pink and dainty and… oh my goodness, this is going to be too girly-girl for me.” Harsh and judgmental, I know, and I hate to admit to it, but there it is. I sighed and prepared myself for a frilly, froufrou ‘fairy tale.’ By the time I was about three pages in, I realized just how wrong I was: Susan Johnston and Kimberly Webb have written a fantastic tale, and I’m sorry I ever doubted them.

Princess Bubble is no Disney princess. She’s not sitting around waiting to be rescued; she’s got a life, a job with Royal Heir Lines that lets her travel the world and see exciting things, a palace of her own, and plenty of princess-y friends to party with. But when all her princess friends start pairing off with princes for their Happily Ever Afters, everyone else starts to wonder why Princess Bubble is being left behind. And when they start wondering, so does she: “After all, that was how every fairy tale ended.” So, under orders from the Queen, she shifts into searching-for-a-prince mode - dating all the available princes, joining prince-finding websites, even kissing a frog!

Although she enjoys these adventures as she has all her others, she’s still no closer to finding her One True Love. So she does a little research, thinks about what she’s looking for, and - in true Fairy Godmother fashion - gets an unexpected visitor to give her some much needed advice at exactly the right time.

I’ll keep the ending a surprise, as it’s certainly worth reading for, but let me just say that those searching for a happily ever after won’t be disappointed.

I liked this book so much that I’m ordering copies for my sisters – none of them children any longer – and a few friends. And I’m making sure that this is the first fairy tale my little niece (just a year old) will be read. It’s smart, funny, and covers a lot of ground that is universal for women (bridesmaids’ dresses? :Shiver:) The illustrations are pink and dreamy, but that’s okay; that’s how they’re supposed to be. Maria Tonelli’s princesses are the expected amount of gorgeous, but they’re also active, simple, sweet and inspirational. And the fact that the authors’ called for – and then included on the inside covers – girls’ representations of how they thought Princess Bubble should look, only goes to show that every girl still has her own version of what a princess can be. You should add this version to your collection. If you think, like I did, that you’re a pretty savvy reader and can judge a book by its cover? Princess Bubble will prove you wrong.

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  Melissa McLaughlin/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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