A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the heroine in this whimsical fantasy doesn’t want to be weighed down by her unusual problem. Kids might be alarmed when the princess begins to float aloft, but her concerned parents keep watch over her and Hyacinth feels joy and awe, not fear. The princess strips down to her underpants for her high-flying adventures. An affectionate friendship between the princess and Boy blossoms as the pair find a way for the princess to safely play.
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What's the story?
What child doesn’t dream of soaring among the clouds? For Princess Hyacinth, alas, being lighter than air is a curse, not a blessing. She would float away forever if she weren’t weighed down by her royal trappings. The lonely princess is resigned to watching kids play outside from the safety of her stony castle. One day, she impulsively tries a plan to float along with a bouquet of balloons -- but finds herself going up, up, up ... Luckily, a new friend comes to her rescue.
Is it any good?
Hyacinth is a sensible, fearless heroine, a good alternative to the saccharine, sparkly trifles all too often presented to kids. This is, at its core, a gentle coming-of-age story: Hyacinth knows her loving parents mean well, but she needs to test her wings. Through her friendship with Boy, at long last she’s able to soar.
Heide’s prose is engaging, but it is Lane Smith’s rich brush-and-ink artwork that makes this whimsical fairy tale a treasure. Princess Hyacinth glumly trudges about with her crown squashed down on her head. When she finally floats free, she nearly catapults off the page with freewheeling joy. Pre-readers can enjoy the book on their own just by savoring the lovely pictures.
Elegant, whimsical, and absolutely delightful.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Princess Hyacinth’s isolation. How does she feel as she watches the kids play? What could she and her family have done to ease her loneliness?
How do the princess and her parents view her upward tendency at the start of the book? How do their views change? Do you think the ability to float would be fun or worrisome?
For kids who love whimsical stories
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