Friday, November 23, 2012

The Plain Princess by Phyllis McGinley

book cover
The Plain Princess
by Phyllis McGinley

Hardcover: 66 pages
Publisher: J.B. Lippincott Company
Released: 1945

Source: Inherited from my grandparents.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
The Princess Esmeralda is fortunate in many ways, for the King and Queen shower her with gifts, toys, feasts, and entertainment. But she's plain by her kingdom's standard's of beauty: her mouth turns down, her nose turns up, and her eyes do not sparkle. When a neighboring Prince is turned off by her selfish, spoiled attitude, he points out to her how plain she is which makes her very unhappy.

Her parents are determined to do something to help her become beautiful, but no one knows what to do....until Dame Goodwit offers to make the Princess beautiful on the condition that the Princess will come and live in her cottage with her five daughters. The changes that take place are only natural ones; but when the Princess learns to do a truly unselfish things, then her mouth turns up, her nose turns down, and her eyes sparkle.

My Review:
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.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Anonymous said...

I was not from a family of avid readers and this was the only book I recall my parents buying for me. I was not otherwise deprived, attended private school, etc. It must've been the late 1950s. I loved the book and didn't realize that there was a deeper meaning. It must have been effective because I went on to become fairly popular and shared my things quite nicely.

Anonymous said...

I read this book as a child and recalled it recently when encountering a situation involving a young person with serious social problems. I do think, as young as I was, that I understood the meaning and held onto it as I struggled through my childhood. My parents were both seriously disturbed and were physically and emotionally abusive toward me. I received support from my teachers and through reading and somehow found a career as a protector of children and have raised my own children to be kind people. I would love to find a copy of this book. Anonymous