X is for … X-fade (and it’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!)

How does one fade an X, you ask? X-fade is theatre shorthand for crossfade, a lighting direction to gradually bring up a new lighting scheme to replace the one in use in the scene currently, thus “fading” across from one sort of light to another.

Today, we’re crossfading. We’re shifting the spotlight from the previous Very Fairy Princess books to the one that has just been released, The Very Fairy Princess: Here Comes the Flower Girl. I am delighted to be adding this hot-off-the-presses book to the Perfect Picture Book lineup. And in case you missed my previous links to Emma Walton Hamilton’s blog post about the Very Fairy Princess being about more than glitter and pink, you may read it here.

And now for a look at this brand new book!

Title: The Very Fairy Princess: Here Comes the Flower Girl!

Author: Julie Andrews & Emma Walton Hamilton

Illustrator: Christine Davenier

Publisher: New York: Little, Brown & Co, 2012

Genre: Picture Book, fiction

Audience Age: 3-8

Theme: individuality, believing in oneself, concern for others, inner “sparkle”, princesses, weddings, coping with changed plans

Opening Sentences: Hi! I’m Geraldine. I’m a fairy princess. Hardly anyone believes me, but I have a sparkly feeling inside that tells me it’s TRUE.

Synopsis: Geraldine, who believes VERY strongly that she is a fairy princess, is excited to learn that she will be flower girl at Aunt Sue’s wedding, even though the wedding isn’t going to be the grand affair she originally hoped for. She works hard to help make a backyard wedding as wonderful as possible, despite various things going wrong, but it takes something much more important than glitter and fairy wings to make her realize what truly makes life SPARKLE. (You can maybe guess what it is, but I think you should read the book to find out!)

Why I Like This Book: Like the other books in this series, Geraldine is a very real little girl who happens to believe with all her heart that she is a very fairy princess. (Like another very real little girl I once knew, who believed she could be a ballerina and a cowgirl, all evidence to the contrary.) These books don’t focus on the sparkly outer trappings that are so readily identified with princesses in general and fairy princesses in particular, however — and that’s what holds the greatest appeal for me. These books emphasize each child’s, each person’s, inner sparkle, the core of one’s own uniqueness, what makes each person special — and then takes that a step further to show how everyone can use her (or his) inner sparkle to make the world a better place. As Geraldine said in our interview a couple of days ago, “I always say you can be whatever you want to be, you just have to let your sparkle out!” And that’s what it’s all about: being yourself and embracing that true inner self with wholehearted delight.

Activities/Resources: One doesn’t have to go far to find resources for this book. Since Julie and Emma want children to understand that real princesses do wonderful things beyond looking pretty and meeting Prince Charming, they have compiled a plethora of activities and learning experiences.

On the Julie Andrews Collection website, there is a wonderful list of 30 things young (and not-so-young) princesses and princes can do to “let their sparkle out.” Thirty Ways to Celebrate National Princess Week.

At the Julie And Emma site (affiliated with their publisher) there are Very Fairy Princess games and coloring pages, as well as downloads related to some of Julie and Emma’s other books.

There is even a Very Fairy Princess website, which was launched April 17 (the release date for The Very Fairy Princess: Here Comes the Flower Girl!) http://www.theveryfairyprincess.com  There is much to explore on that site. In particular, there is an inspiring compendium of information about real princesses and the good they do in the world. You’ll be amazed at how many princesses there are! Real-life Princesses.

I want to make sure in all the princess excitement that young princes aren’t forgotten – boys can be assured that princes do great things in the world, as well. Perhaps your family could research some of the world’s princes and learn all that they do to make the world a better place.

A very good place to start might be the website of The Prince’s Trust,  an organization through which Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, helps change young people’s lives for the better. There is kid-friendly information and puzzles, as well as displays of children’s art work on the Children’s Page of the Prince of Wales’ official website.

Or your boys might be more interested in princes who are closer to their own age, such as Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. There is a section about him (and about his wife, Kate) on the Prince of Wales’ site as well.

There are other princes all around the world that your family could learn more about. Just be aware that a google search for world princes retrieves lists of eligible princes and other lists that are not exactly kid-friendly.

Availability: The Very Fairy Princess: Here Comes the Flower Girl is hot off the press, released April 17, 2012, and is readily available in hardcover. It is also available in digital format for iPad, iPhone (from iBooks) and for Barnes and Noble Nook.

 

Every Friday, bloggers join together to share picture book reviews and resources, thanks to author Susanna Leonard Hill’s brainchild, “Perfect Picture Book Fridays.” Susanna then adds the books (and links to the reviews) to a comprehensive listing by subject on her blog. Find the entire listing at her “Perfect Picture Books.”

Giveaway Reminder: If a copy of The Very Fairy Princess: Here Comes the Flower Girl and a Fairy Princess Wand might help you let your sparkle out, remember that everyone who comments on any of this week’s blog posts will have their names added to the draw to be held on Sunday, April 29. Grand Prize is a copy of Emma’s and Julie’s new book and a specially made wand. Second Prize is a copy of the book.

46 Comments

  1. X Fade… awesome. I’ll have to do a post on my blog soon about lighting technology. All the things we used to do manually are now computer controlled.

    Something that required two hands moving in opposition to each other at a steady rate is now a simple queue number!

    The Princess books sound great!

    X is for Xenophobia on Main Street Arts
    http://mainstreetarts.blogspot.com/2012/04/xenophobia.html

    1. Thanks, Arthur — it would be great if you would do a post about the changes in lighting technology. I’d love to read it!

  2. I saw Julie Andrews talking about the book the other day on The Talk. It sounded delightful so I went and found them at the bookstore. Such cute books. I’d love to win a copy.

    1. I’m so glad to hear that Julie’s promotion of the book prompted you to check them out! Proves that all those television appearances are having a positive effect. Thanks, Cheryl!

  3. OMGoodness! I was like a giddy school in Target yesterday when I saw the VERY PRINCESS books showcased in the book section!!! Was so fun to share my excitement with my sister :~D

    1. That’s so delightful, Lori! And I’m so glad you had someone to share the books and the excitement with! Sounds as though you were really sparkling!

  4. I thought I commented. I remember thinking THE FAIRY PRINCESS sounded like such a wonderful read; it would be perfect for my twin nieces. I’m crossing my fingers for the prize. 🙂

    1. Twin nieces? How lucky are you! Tune in on Sunday at noon eastern to find out the winners!

  5. Oops, I meant THE VERY FAIRY PRINCESS.

    1. Not a problem!

  6. I love Julie Andrew-have since zi begged for her to come to my house after watching Mary Poppins the first time. These books are adorable. I wish her and Emma all the best. My little girl would absolutely live to win a copy. Thank you for posting this, Beth.

    1. Thanks Alison! Good luck with the draw. I love that you begged to have Julie come to your house after seeing Mary Poppins! Awwwwwwww…

  7. What a great book drawing. I’d love to win one of the princess books, to read and share and “study”!

    1. Thanks, Mona. Your name will be entered in the draw.

  8. I just saw Julia Andrews on Rachel Ray promoting this book the other morning! I can’t wait to check out the site associated with it. I am sure all of my little “princesses” (6 in all) will love to play the games on it! Thanks for the info!

    1. Wow — you have a whole “royal family” of little princesses! I’m sure they’ll enjoy the site. Thanks, Jodi!

  9. I’m so glad to add this to our list, Beth! All kids should read stories that encourage them to let their sparkle out 🙂 And it’s hard but important for kids to learn to cope with a change in plans. I love the activities that encourage a look at real princesses and the very wonderful (and not magic or silly) things they do. Thanks for sharing this one! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Susanna. You may have noticed 😉 that I’m rather partial to the Very Fairy Princess!

  10. Beth, a very lovely review of the latest book. Such a great series. You emphasize all that is important for National Princess Week. Saw Julie on the Martha Stewart Show this morning, and it was nice that it was different from the others. When Julie walked out, the entire audience was wearing tiaras. Julie learned how to use a glue gun to make tiaras with Martha. She was on with Martha about 20 min, so it gave her more time to chat and be spontaneous. Beth, you can go to the Hallmark Channel on your computer and watch the program, which should be posted by Monday.

    1. Thanks Pat. And thanks for the heads up about watching the Martha Stewart show online. I will check that out.

  11. Sounds wonderful. I love fairies and sparkles! And, more importantly, so does my daughter. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Nessa! If your daughter loves fairies and sparkles, I bet she’ll like this series of books!

  12. Fabulous review. The book sounds delightful. It is one I will add to my list of need to reads. The message is fantastic and I am anxious to read the story!

    1. Thanks, Penny. The book is delightful. Have you read the others? They stand alone, but also stand together, if that makes any sense.

  13. What little girl *isn’t* a fairy princess at heart, even if her inner fairy princess isn’t more a butt-kicking superhero type than the traditional pretty, pink, and sparkly? Looking forward to reading this book!

    1. I love your take on butt-kicking superhero fairy princesses, Kelly! Thanks!

  14. Look forward to reading this book!

    1. Thanks, Darshana.

  15. Cute, Beth! I’ll have to find a little princess in my life, so I can buy this one.

    1. There must be a little princess somewhere… I gave the first one to all my cousins who had granddaughters. Do you have any nieces?

  16. Wonderful Beth. Taking the princess out of everything is something every growing child needs to learn. I can’t wait to peruse the real princess site.

    1. Thanks, Catherine. I think you’ll enjoy the real-life princesses — I was astonished to learn how many there are, and what cool things they do!

  17. I have never heard of Xfade – I am learning a lot this month! Thanks for incliding Prince’s in your activities 😉

    1. Thanks, Erik — and you’re welcome. I wanted Princes to have their turn, as well!

  18. It goes straight to the sparke! I’ve enjoyed you a-z posts.

    1. Thanks, Stacy!

  19. I do love that these books don’t deny girls their desire to be a princess, but instead focus on the importance of being “sparkly” on the inside. Thanks, Beth!

    1. Yes, I like the way they take the focus off the outer trappings of princesses and focus on what really matters. Thanks, Amy!

  20. This sounds like a thoroughly delightful picture book. I loved what you said about finding that ‘inner sparkle’ – it seems like a truly empowering and inspiring book. Hope I can find this in our libraries. 🙂

    1. I hope you can find it, too, Myra. The whole series (three so far, more in the pipeline) affirms the same empowering message.

  21. Excellent review of the book Beth. Loved all your resources to.
    (Pat lucky you seeing Julie on Martha’s show… will have to wait until someone posts it on youtube before we see it down here.)

    1. Thanks, Diane. I have thoroughly enjoyed putting the spotlight on The Very Fairy Princess this week!

  22. Fun week focusing on Geraldine, Beth. And after your review, it sounds like the third in the series is going to be just as sparkly and fun as the first two! I’d love to win a copy too. I am already imagining how Gerry might ensure aunt Sue’s wedding really sparkles!

    1. Thanks, Joanna! I’ll be announcing the winners at 12 p.m. Eastern Time (it’s going to be hard to make myself wait until then to do the draw!)

      As for how the book unfolds… my lips are sealed. (I actually revised my review on Thursday night, because I had given away too much!)

  23. Thank you, Beth, for giving us the heads-up about the newest Princess story. Love the empowering message and wonderful resources!

    1. Thanks, Vivian! I so appreciate the incredible amount of research Emma did on all the real-life princesses.

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