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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
18
4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 10 February 2007
Our children are familiar with this Oscar Wilde story, but we were all entranced by the illustrations by Jane Ray. The story is bittersweet and offers much to children and adults alike. This version is beautiful to read aloud. I was surprised that our 5 year old enjoyed it, but the language and simplicity bewitched us all.
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on 12 October 2010
I love this story, it's amazing. When the book arrived I thought the illustrations were really beautiful, but I was a bit gutted that it doesn't contain the full original text. Sections have been edited out to make it shorter and more suitable for children, for example:
- The town people's humorous comments on the prince: gone
- The love story with the Reed (supposed to reflect Oscar Wilde's marriage): gone
- Love between the prince and the swallow (also reflecting Wilde's life): much more subtle
- Description of palace of Sans-Souci: reduced to one sentence
- Ironic conversation between main-of-honour and her lover: gone
- Reference to the match-girl getting beaten by her father: gone

Some of these are understandable given the intended audience, but omitting the prince's comment "the poor always think that gold can make them happy", really loses some of the depth of the story, as does the change to the closing line.

But then I read it to my four year old son, and realised that it's still got a lot of magic, and also more than enough complexity to challenge and stretch young children. Most of the stuff about Egypt is still there, which makes it a lot more poetic than your average children's book. I found myself with a lot of words and concepts to explain, not least poverty and suffering. Our son was enthralled and fascinated (asking "why" continuously), and declared that he loved it, so I suppose that's the vote of confidence you'll be looking for.
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on 29 May 2015
Personally I can not make it to the end of this masterpiece without tears raising up and spilling out onto the pages. I have been looking for a while to find a picture book version for my young children to share this my favourite story with them. Jane Ray has excelled in illustrating this story, every page is full of sumptuous colour, quite breath taking. My children have asked me to read it over and over...and I love that they steal away with it and just bask in the pictures. For me a treasure on my bookshelf.
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on 3 November 2009
I defy you to read this and not shed a tear. Although this is the saddest tale ever written it is beautiful from start to finish. A wonderful tale which leaves you feeling good about mankind.
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on 2 January 2014
Used as a follow up book to a theatre production. Enriched arts project, including role play , raising questions and painting activities.
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on 25 March 2010
This book brought back chldhood memories. I can't read it without it making me cry. What a great story. This book is also beautifully illustrated.
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on 20 January 2012
happy with this book it was a present and very gratefully received by my son in law who asked for it dont no why because its a childrens book
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on 17 October 2010
only had this book for a few days,but it has already become a favourite of both my 5yr old son and mine. such a touching story with beautiful pictures,a real classic.
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on 23 September 2015
my great-grandson and his parents enjoyed reading this together, although they found the end rather sad
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on 11 January 2016
Simply a beautiful story, beautifully illustrated and makes me cry when i read it to the kids
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