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"Zip! Zup! Zoom!" It's time to celebrate the release of Tammi Sauer's wonderful new book, PRINCESS IN TRAINING, comically illustrated in comic-book style by the wonderful Joe Berger - a PAPER BAG PRINCESS for today's generation.

I am very pleased that the good folks at Harcourt sent me a copy of Tammi's new book, since I've been a fan of her work since (before) her very first picture book (COWBOY CAMP) came out back in 2005. Of course, this has tipped you to my disclaimer, which is that I am a BIG FAN of Tammi's work. Still, I think this book is brilliant, and I'd like to think I'd say so even if I weren't someone who watched Tammi put Ranch dressing on her homefries at breakfast once upon a time

Speaking of COWBOY CAMP (were we not?), I couldn't help but notice that PRINCESS IN TRAINING shares some of the same territory, both emotionally and otherwise. Both books feature a kid who goes to some sort of training camp: Avery goes to cowboy camp, whereas Viola Louise Hassenfeffer goes to Camp Princess. Avery doesn't excel at the things at Cowboy Camp, since he's allergic to horses and not quite as coordinated as the other kids. Viola Louise Hassenfeffer is actually GOOD at a lot of stuff, but it's all non-princessy stuff like karate-chopping and swimming and skateboarding. She goes to Camp Princess where she turns out not to do particularly well at the princess skills, like the Royal Wave, the Frills of Fashion, or Dance Lessons.

Avery manages to effectively deal with a bully who shows up at Cowboy Camp, though, and so does Viola Louise Hassenfeffer . . . only the bully she deals with is an actual dragon, and all those non-princessy skills come in handy after all. (I mentioned the parallels to Tammi last week, and she said she didn't notice the similarities until recently!)

The text is wonderful and the illustrations are marvelous as well. My favorite may actually be the page where they're learning the Royal Wave, if only because one of the other princesses is dressed like Princess Leia from Star Wars - white gown, side buns, and all (but sadly, I couldn't find it online to share with you today).

The cover is colorful, as you can see above. I like that the Princess Viola Louise Hassenfeffer is wearing a pink gown (and the glitter behind the title portion of the cover and inside the stars holding Tammi's and Joe's names), but I also like that the orange starburstiness of the cover (and her skateboard) clues you in from the start that this isn't a girly-girl sort of princess - a relief to those little girls ( like Riley) who don't see why they always have to buy "pink stuff".

Well done, Tammi and Joe!

A must-get for anyone with a little girl who likes princesses AND the other stuff - martial arts, skaeboarding and/or swimming & diving included. And I'm pretty sure their brothers won't mind it, either, since it's got so much action.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 25th, 2012 02:31 am (UTC)
Thanks for giving Viola the royal treatment. :)
Sep. 27th, 2012 09:44 pm (UTC)
She totally deserves it!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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