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The Apple-Pip Princess Hardcover – 4 Oct 2007
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In a barren land, parched by drought and ravaged by frosts, lies a crumbling kingdom. Ever since the Queen's death, the heart has quite vanished from the palace and its people, and so the King sets his three daughters a task...Each must do something to make him proud; to change their land. But can the littlest princess and her tiny apple pip really bring hope and happiness back to her beloved kingdom? Sometimes it's the smallest things that make the biggest difference...
About the Author
Jane Ray's artwork has gained acclaim around the world. She won the 6-8 category of the Smarties Prize with The Story of Creation. The Story of Christmas was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award, and A Balloon for Grandad was shortlisted for the Mother Goose Award. Jane lives in London.
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I like this more than Doll's House Fairy and Can You Catch a Mermaid, though all of them are lovely and popular in my house. The story is the king is a widower with three daughters. As he's getting old he asks each of them to find a way to impress him, to help him decide who to leave his kingdom to. The death of his wife has led to the death of the kingdom - nothing grows, the air is arid and the people are starving and poor. The elder two daughters exploit the poor and threaten them (mildly) and come up with worthless showy towers. The youngest daughter, Serenity, uses her mother's personal treasure box to bring the people in the land together in a programme of mass planting and farming touched with a little magic (a nightingale's song, a strip of rainbow, a dewy spider web, and one apple pip). A week later the land is verdant and full of potential and the people have found a new purpose. The king gives the kingdom to Serenity. No one is a baddy and everyone gathers together under a tree to picnic and listen to nightingale song and love everyone else.
It doesn't hurt that the princesses are brown skinned and dark haired.
Illustrations within the book contain casual images of disabled people.
This book is in a list of early years picture books that feature disabled characters. The list was produced by UK disability charity Scope's In the Picture campaign, which encourages publishers, illustrators and writers to include disabled children in their books.
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