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The Secret Lives of Princesses

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About the Author

The author of several children's books, Philippe Lechermeier also teaches French and history. As a student, he worked several odd jobs and says he grew up a "dreamer, lonely, one foot on earth, the other on the moon." He is married and has two children. Rebecca Dautremer has illustrated several children's books. She studied art at Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, where one of her teachers recognized her talent and encouraged Rebecca to specialize in children's book illustrations. She currently lives in Paris with her husband and three children.


Gr 2-4-It is safe to say that this volume, purporting to be a guide to princesses, is unique. It is more catalog than storybook. Lechermeier has invented a variety of eccentric women, such as Princess Barbara of Babel, who "speaks a multitude of languages. All the time." Or Princess Claire Voyant, who "reads tarot cards, tea leaves, palms, even the feet of spiders." Also included are expositions on subjects ranging from four-poster beds to cat-o'-nine-tails and a quiz for would-be princesses. Dautremer illustrates the royal population with lush, fanciful paintings replete with teeny details that, if closely observed, reveal more secrets than the text. A certain sort of child may enjoy the wordplay and sly humor herein, but many will find this wacky compendium more frustrating than fun.-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

This generous, large-format contribution to the library of princess reference works pushes into middle-reader range. The work of a French team (both making their U.S. debut), it features droll copy, sly sidebars (on princess-related topics that range from four-poster beds to parasols), and theatrically lit princesses painted from all sorts of inventive angles. Lechermeier supplies biographies for more than 20 fictional princesses-Princess Tangra-la, who "dresses wildly, without care, in secondhand clothes"; Princess Paige, who "divides her days into chapters and dreams up titles for each one"; and Princess Sticky-Fingers, who "cracks safes with great style"-as well as notes about princess life ("A princess's tears are prized the world over.... Like invisible ink, they are used to compose the sweetest songs"). Dautremer's Princess Tangra-la dances with such abandon that her socks, watch, and jewelry go flying; other spreads show princesses defeating armies with barrages of tiny, cutout words or bicycling delicately along telephone wires. There's even an index. It's too long to be covered in one bedtime, and parents of princess fans will be forced to check for flashlights under the covers. Ages 7-up. (June) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

you find yourself drawn in... Enticing for princesses young and old. * School Librarian * Wittily written, there's something for grown-ups too. * Carousel *

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