22 May 2015

Princeless, Volume 1: Save Yourself

Princess Adrienne is tired of being imprisoned in an impenetrable dragon-guarded tower, waiting for some lucky prince to come along and rescue her. Her totally forward-thinking and not at all tradition-bound (cough) father has locked all her older sisters in impenetrable towers, too, and will no doubt do the same with the youngest when she reaches a marriageable age. Interestingly, none of the sisters have been successfully rescued. None. (Makes you wonder about the quality of princes these days). But, yes, Adrienne -- who never chose to be in the tower in the first place -- decides to free herself and all her sisters ...

Princeless, Volume 1 neatly lines up and knocks down plenty of traditional fantasy tropes and social norms while still managing to come off as a light-hearted adventure story. While its mockery can be about as subtle as a flying brick, it is a story meant for children and I doubt they’d notice the lack of subtlety.

And, I’m sure you’re thinking "Yes, yes. PrinceLESS. I get it, already!" but Princeless isn’t just about knocking down all the ridiculousness that surrounds traditional fairy tale princesses. Princeless is just as interested in showing how many of the male characters are equally imprisoned by tropes and norms. For example, Adrienne's brother, the royal heir, is clearing no chip of the block and cannot be what his father wants. And the last prince who tries to rescue Adrienne had to attend a charm school for princes -- he was that much of a failure at traditional princing.

Overall, I found Princeless, Volume 1 to be both witty and well-written with an extremely amusing and attractive illustrative style. I shared Volume 1 with The Husband as I thought it might be something he’s like and he enjoyed it so much we’re both now waiting for Volume 2 to come in at the library. (No guesses as to who will read it first). And that hasn’t happened since we discovered Chi’s Sweet Home!

Princeless, Volume 1: Save Yourself written by Jeremy Whitley & illus. by M. Goodwin

20 May 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Violets

“Do you think amethysts can be the souls of good violets?”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

19 May 2015

Top 10 Tuesday: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie, so I’m doing “Top Ten Fictional Dinner Party Guests” ... which I actually made up for the May 27, 2014 freebie, but didn’t get around to posting it because LIFE. Since my table only seats six comfortably (and I know some of my guests would be very opposed to rubbing elbows), I have two separate seatings for a total of twelve guests. I tried for an “eclectic” but “friendly” mix of characters.

I imagine Bertie Wooster would drive Jane Eyre right up the wall, but he might find a sympathetic listener in Mrs. Blythe. And I expect Jane Eyre to rub along with both M. Poirot and Mrs. Blythe. Nanny Ogg is there simply because she’s guaranteed to put the PARTY in dinner party.

Also, it just seems fitting that a witch, DEATH, and the Patrician should all share a meal together. I bet they’ll get along like a house on fire. Bridget Jones and Mr. Tumnus should, hopefully, have a soothing and civilizing effect. Also, I’d like to think Havelock wouldn’t know what to make of Bridget.

15 May 2015

Lost Cat

As much as I love cats, I tend to avoid kitty lit as I tend to find it mawkish and twee as all get out. While Lost Cat is a genuinely moving, Paul’s voice is more tart than treacly and there’s a thick thread of humor running through her account of Tibby’s wanderings. MacNaughton’s illustrations are whimsical and fun without being cute. Charming, I think, is probably the best word to describe Lost Cat.

Anyway, I have four indoor-outdoor cats (although several are definitely more indoor than outdoor at this point in their lives) and I can happily (and quite obliviously) bore the pants of people talking about the shenanigans they get up to, so I can totally get Paul’s need to obsess over Tibby’s first disappearance and then engage in a long course of espionage when Tibby continues to wander.

Indeed, Lost Cat really made me want to start tracking my own cats and so I’m working hard on coming up with a reasonable explanation for spending all our monies on a GoPro -- especially as I know our cats will never tolerate a harness for it. (If you want to mount a GoPro on your cat(s), then watch Chuck Green tell you how to make a harness).

Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology written by Caroline Paul w/ illus. by Wendy MacNaughton (Bloomsbury USA, 2013)