The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews
The True Princess Review by Karen WaideAngela Elwell Hunt
Lamplighter Ministries International
23 State St.
Mount Morris, NY 14510
We had the privilege of reviewing the children’s illustrated book titled, The True Princess, written by Angela Elwell Hunt and illustrated by Diana Magnuson. This book is a part of the children’s collection from Lamplighter Publishing, a publishing company that publishes wholesome, character-building books.
We received a hardcover copy of The True Princess, which is available from Lamplighter Publishing for $22. It is recommended for children ages 4-7, though my eight-year-old and my ten-year-old really enjoyed the story as well. This book is 32 pages in length and is easily read in one sitting.
This is the story of a fictional princess, and what makes someone a princess in God’s eyes. She is the only daughter of the king of a faraway land, and she wants for nothing. She has servants galore, who do everything for her. She also has a special servant named Nana. One day her father has to go to a faraway kingdom, and she is left in the care of Nana, “hidden” from those who may want to harm her during her father’s absence. She is actually living in plain sight, working with Nana in the bakery shop in the middle of town. Of course, no one expects to see the princess working as a servant.
While her father is away, he has instructed Nana not only to protect her, but to teach her lessons she will need to become a great ruler. She learned to work hard, baking various foods to sell and eat. She had to learn to dress herself, sing while she worked (instead of having others come to sing for her), and amuse herself.
In the absence of both the king and the princess, the girls in the kingdom were trying to see if they could be the one to take her place. They spent hours trying to make themselves into a princess, feeling they were better than the poor bakery girl who was too busy working.
Upon the king’s return months later, he called for his daughter. All the girls who had been trying to make themselves into princesses showed up as well. When the king asked them to do things for him, such as helping the servant put on his cloak or telling the soldiers a funny story, they refused, figuring that “real” princesses don’t do such things. The king’s daughter, however, said that she would be happy to do these things. Though she no longer looked like a princess because of her patched clothes, the princess was recognized by her love and willingness to serve.
The book ends with a quote from the Bible—Matthew 20: 26-28 (NIV)—which states, “. . . Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
We absolutely loved this book! The full-color illustrations are beautifully done. Some are complete double-page spreads where the text is superimposed over the illustration in a fancy framed box. On other pages, the illustrations are on the opposite page or above the text on a single page. These lovely illustrations really do help to share the heart of the text.
My girls love stories about princesses, and I love that this one had such a wonderful character-building message. It is so important for them to understand that God wants us to serve others, and not focus on ourselves. But it wasn’t that she was able to serve that made her the true princess of the king, it was that she was willing to serve him out of love. And we should be so devoted to God that we are willing to serve Him and others out of love, and not obligation
This is definitely a book I highly recommend.
- Product Review by Karen Waide, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2017