Read The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye Online

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Along with Wit, Charm, Health, and Courage, Princess Amy of Phantasmorania receives a special fairy christening gift: Ordinariness. Unlike her six beautiful sisters, she has brown hair and freckles, and would rather have adventures than play the harp, embroider tapestries- or become a Queen. When her royal parents try to marry her off, Amy runs away, and because she's so oAlong with Wit, Charm, Health, and Courage, Princess Amy of Phantasmorania receives a special fairy christening gift: Ordinariness. Unlike her six beautiful sisters, she has brown hair and freckles, and would rather have adventures than play the harp, embroider tapestries- or become a Queen. When her royal parents try to marry her off, Amy runs away, and because she's so ordinary, easily becomes the fourteenth assistant kitchen maid at a neighboring palace. And there, much to everyone's surprise, she meets a prince just as ordinary (and special) as she is! "This delightful fairy tale is sure to please young romantics. . . . Neither Kaye's princess nor her book should be considered ordinary."...

Title : The Ordinary Princess
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780385178556
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 112 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Ordinary Princess Reviews

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    2019-01-03 04:26

    This one's for all you fairy tale lovers out there. This is a straight-up, no-holds-barred fairy tale, with lovely princesses who wear crowns and beautiful gowns and genteelly toss golden balls to each other and never get dirty or sweaty--. . . well, actually, this story is mostly about the youngest sister of those princesses, whose fairy godmother took one look at the list of all the gifts this princess received at her christening, like Charm and Courage and Grace and Wit, and promptly decreed, "This princess shall be Ordinary!" And so she was.It turns out that most royalty and nobility want to marry a princess who's gorgeous, not one with straight, mousy brown hair and a turned-up, freckled nose. Her despairing parents decide to import a dragon to terrorize the country and promise the hand of the (unseen) princess Amethyst, known as Amy, to the prince who offs the dragon. Amy catches wind of the plan, decides it's a terrible scheme on so many levels, runs away and ends up living in the forest and then working as a kitchen maid in the castle of a neighboring kingdom.I thought this little story would be more subversive than it was, but other than the twist of having an ordinary-looking and acting girl as its main character, it pretty much follows the standard fairy tale line. (Not that I necessarily think that's a bad thing! Sheesh.) (view spoiler)[There's a handsome guy in the castle where Amy is working who, it turns out, is not nearly as shallow as all the other nobility she's met. (hide spoiler)] But it's a tale that's told well and charmingly and with a little humor. It's written on a middle grade level, but older readers who enjoy sweet fairy tales will still appreciate it. I would have totally adored this when I was younger, so I'm cutting it some slack. Plus the illustrations by the author are lovely.Read this one when you're in the mood for a delightful and uncomplicated Happily Ever After. (And make sure you get a copy with the author's illustrations.)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Kristin
    2018-12-28 10:52

    "Violets are blue,Rosemary's green,When I am King,You shall be Queen"This was my absolute favorite book when I was a young girl. Amy, a smart, plucky, decidedly NOT classically beautiful princess, is given at birth the magical gift of being "ordinary". Years later, Amy reaches marriageable age. Since she isn't beautiful and vapid, her parents are quite worried whether any prince will have her, and there's some rash talk of giving her as the prize in a dragonslaying challenge. She doesn't like this idea, and so she steals away in the night. To make ends meet, she works as a scullery maid in the kitchens of another kingdom. After a big occasion, she sneaks down to the kitchens to get some leftovers for her woodland friends (a squirrel and a raven) and meets Percy, a "man-of-all-work." They become friends and build a cottage in the woods. Unbeknownst to Amy, Percy is the prince of the kingdom--just as he has no idea that she is a runaway princess whose family is looking high and low for her.Secret identities are revealed, Amy returns home, and Percy flabbergasts her family by showing up and asking for her hand in marriage. A great moral story for girls that shows that you can be yourself and be happy, and that it's okay not to look perfect.

  • Carol Clouds ꧁꧂
    2019-01-12 09:54

    I don't read many children's books, but I was drawn to this one by its very beautiful cover which was actually the work of the author.The other illustrations in this edition were pleasant enough & done by Faith Jaques.Princess Amethyst was expected to be given the same princessy gifts by the fairy godmothers as her six elder elder sisters - and she did indeed receive charm and wit and grace and courage. But then Crustacea, the most important fairy godmother arrived - & Crustacea was in A Very Bad Mood. She gave Amethyst the gift of ordinariness. Amy (as she is nicknamed) proves ordinariness doesn't mean dull and she shows her real gifts are the ones she finds within herself. & part of Amy's charm is that she isn't looking for gifts or repining that she doesn't have them.My Puffin edition gives a recommended readers' age of 9-11. I'm not fond of recommended reading ages at the best of times & think this book in the 21st century will find more enthusiastic fans in the 7-9 group - or even younger if it is being read to them.Really enjoyable & subtly feminist.

  • Dani
    2019-01-11 10:27

    This was one of my favorite books as a child. I recently reread it in a fit of nostalgia. I was disappointed that the fantastic 1986 cover has been replaced by some hot mess picture of an elven girl in a green dress. What happened to the 80's princess with freckles, frizzy brown hair, and a ridiculously ornate purple dress? Reading the book as an adult, I was so relieved to read an earnest fairy tale for once. So many "fairy tale princess books" on the market are hideous, smarmy, wink-wink tales that blend modern humor with the fairy tale world, while practically screaming to the reader, "Look how clever and fresh I am! I'm so witty that I'm appealing to both adults and children! I'm soaking in irony! Wowee!" I don't care if Ella Enchanted won a Newbery Honor, it's so ironic and proud of itself that it's slimy. I actually gagged in parts. "The Ordinary Princess" has plenty of humor, but Kaye takes her world and her characters seriously enough that she makes you laugh with them, not at them. And thank god for an inventive fairy tale story that takes itself seriously while turning fairy tale conventions upside down. Amy is a strong heroine that everyone can love. She runs away to the woods and then applies for a job by herself - it's every kid's dream to be able to escape the stifling castle and be completely self-reliant, WHILE LIVING IN THE WOODS AND BEING AWESOME. Yay for The Ordinary Princess! Yay for Princess Amy! Lavender's Blue dilly dilly...

  • Algernon
    2018-12-30 03:38

    [9/10] Long and long ago, when Oberon was king of the fairies, there reigned over the fair country of Phantasmorania a monarch who had six beautiful daughters.They were in every way all that real princesses should be, for their hair was as yellow as the gold that is mined by the little gnomes in the mountains of the north, their eyes were as blue as the larkspurs in the palace gardens, and they had complexions like wild rose petals and cream. This is not their story! Barbie clones with perfect hair and improbably slim waists are frankly boring. M M Kaye came to the same conclusion after re-reading some of her favorite classic children stories and set out to tell us about their seventh sister, Her Serene and Royal Highness the Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne of Phantasmorania, also known as Amy. Due to a slight misunderstanding and scheduling conflict at her christening, the last fairy godmother to bless her (the slightly cranky and unpredictable Crustacea) gave her the gift of Ordinariness, to the dismay of her royal parents and court attendants.The story of Amy who may be not beautiful, but nevertheless enjoys her ordinary life, often evading from her luxurious chambers in a high tower to play in the forest where she makes friends with a raven, a squirell and some children from the village, is not only educational but also funny and charming, told in a simple language that pays homage to the classics (references to Sleeping Beauty and Snow White are quite obvious) while including enough modern and subversive elements to attract the children of the atomic age. True, the splendid jewels and brocades of the kings and princes and barons were quite out of place on her homely little person, but the fairy gifts had been very useful, for though she was ordinary, she possessed health, wit, courage, charm, and cheerfulness. But because she was not beautiful, no one ever seemed to notice these other qualities, which is so often the way of the world. Shying away from arrangements to get her married, and fearing to be a burden to her parents, Amy runs away from home, wandering through the forests in the company of her raven and squirell, until the real world with its material concerns intrudes:- And now, said the Ordinary Princess, I would like some advice, Godmama. What do ordinary people do when their clothes wear out and they haven’t any more?- Buy some new ones, child.- But I haven’t any money.- Then earn some. Go to work, said the old lady.- Oh, work, said the Ordinary Princess thoughtfully, I’m not sure I should like that.- Neither do most ordinary people – but they have to, said the old fairy.- What sort of work? And where?- Great barnacles! exclaimed Crustacea, how should I know? Use your own head, child. Think for yourself. So Amy hires herself as the seventeenth kitchen maid in the kitchens of a neighboring kingdom, where her natural cheerfulness takes in stride backbreaking drudgery work for long hours and little pay with a song in her heart. By this time, most readers will be thoroughly enchanted with Amy, and will not mind the predictable turn of events when a similarly ordinary boy meets Amy and takes her off for weekend walks and picnics to her beloved forest (one of his names is Algernon, just like my avatar here). So the ending of this fairytale is less revolutionary than its beginning, but you’d have to be a real Grinch to grumble about it. Lavender’s blueRosemary’s greenWhen you are KingI shall be Queen. I wasn’t really surprised that M M Kaye could write such a funny and enchanting fairytale, after all her bestseller The Far Pavilions is just another kind of fairytale written for grown ups with beautiful Indian princesses, dashing British officers and opulent maharaj courts where wars and greed and prejudice cannot stand in the way of true love. What really surprised me was how good Kaye is as an illustrator, an aspect of her talent I was unaware of. All the images in the story are drawn by the author, and they are just as fun and charming as the text.Recommended for reading to children and grandchildren, For if a time ever comes when children turn up their noses at such things as fairy tales and Father Christmas and Halloween, the world will be a lot duller – and not nearly such a nice place to live in !

  • ♛Tash
    2019-01-12 02:31

    Mind you folks that this is straight up fairytale released in the 80's , and the target demographic are tweens, so the writing is more classic children's book than YA. I love this precious book nonetheless. This is a story of Princess Amy of Phantasmorania, who has mousy brown hair and a freckled nose, because she was gifted with ordinariness at birth (obviously,her fairy godmother was drunk). (view spoiler)[When she reaches marriageable age, her parents despair because who would want to marry an ordinary looking princess (*rolls eyes*), so they do something desperate which Amy disagrees with so she runs away. Long story short, she runs away , meets an ordinary guy. They fall in love, identities revealed and they live happily ever after (hide spoiler)]. Tween girls, and even boys, need to read this charming tale and the message it conveys. One, that you can be your own kind of beautiful and the people who matter will see that beauty.---------------------------------------------------------------------------Whaaattt? A fairy tale about ordinary looking people? GIMMMMEEEEEEEEE!I am so sick and tired of ravishing beauties and hot as fuck playboy millionaires getting all the fantastic adventures and mistaken identities! :P["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Becky
    2018-12-26 02:33

    Oh my goodness, this was such a delightful book! I'm glad that I picked it up - sometimes it's easy to discount these kinds of books, but this one is a perfect example of why it's silly to do so. Princess Amy is the seventh daughter of King Hulderbrand and Queen Rhodesia. All throughout history, the seventh daughter has been the most beautiful, the most extraordinary princess of them all - but not this time. This time, the most powerful Fairy, Crustacea, is out of patience when she arrives, delayed by traffic, at the christening of little baby Amy - and gives her the gift of ordinary. Of course this is a travesty and a tragedy to the royal court, and a never-ending source of shame and embarrassment to the King and Queen - but Amy is perfectly happy to be herself and not stiffly proper and bored. When she is of an age to marry, and her suitors have all seen her and then just remembered urgent appointments that they had forgotten, her father decides to take matters into his own hands (well, at the advice of his council), and endeavors to hire a dragon to lay waste to the kingdom in the hopes that some enterprising young prince will come to slay it in return for the princess's hand. Amy catches wind of this plot, and wants no part of it, so she runs away to seek her own fortune.I loved the wit and the humor in this story. I found myself giggling at the descriptions of the royalty and the extremes that they will go to to get their way. I also really loved Peregrine, the man-of-all-work that Amy meets. He is such a sweet and honest person, and accepts Amy for who she really is, rather than what she looks like. I have to say that in this children's book, I found myself thinking that the romance was sweeter and more moving than in some of the adult romance novels I've read. This is definitely a feel-good keeper of a book. I loved the message that no matter who you are, or where you come from, being yourself will bring you happiness.

  • Allison Tebo
    2018-12-28 06:37

    From the authors note at the very beginning I was pulled into the most deliciously whimsical book. Five gloriously, shining stars for this amazing book (bumped it up one)– it is one of the sweetest stories I have read in a long time with a beautiful style, delightful characters, and a sweet and funny message. The beautiful and amazing illustrations are also absolutely charming. This was the perfect bedtime reading - so soothingly and fun. What a joy fairy tales are! What a sadly overlooked and underrated slice of goodness. I can't wait to buy my own copy - this is a book to be petted, cherished and share.

  • Talltree
    2018-12-30 08:53

    Quaint, witty and adorable fairy tale romance novella about an Ordinary but very likeable princess and how she finds her HEA. Would have give it 5 stars if only it wasn't a clean romance. 4.25 stars!

  • Lisa Vegan
    2018-12-20 05:41

    Charming book. This would have been one of my favorite books had I read it as a kid. I found it both enchanting and fun to read, reading it for the first time as an adult. A must read for kids & adults, especially young girls & their parents. Love the twist on the standard fairy tale. The illustrations by the author are lovely.I’ll be giving this as a gift to several little girls.

  • Deborah O'Carroll
    2019-01-05 02:54

    First read: 4/16/2015AAAAHHH I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. Cute, sweet, hilarious, perfect... A whimsical, beautiful, original fairytale. Definitely a favorite! I want to reread it already. Also the illustrations are absolutely fabulous.I loved the plot, the humor, the total fairytale-feel, the Englishness, the Ordinary Princess herself, and of course Peregrine. How it all turned out was just awesome.I. Adored. This. Book. <3Re-Read: 2/26/2016I first read The Ordinary Princess in April last year, and fell in love with it instantly. <3 I was so tempted to reread it the moment I finished it, but refrained… and now this was a perfect chance to pick it up again.So last night I did, and devoured it all over again in an hour and a half. It’s a short read, but oh so lovely!How can I even DESCRIBE it? It’s probably my favorite little fairytale-esque story ever. Yes, it’s THAT good.It just has this perfect fairytale feel — it’s like an original fairytale with some nods to a few classic ones, such as starting out with a Sleeping Beauty-esque christening with fairy gifts etc. (The king even makes a reference to his great-great-something-grandmother, who evidently WAS Sleeping Beauty! Isn’t that perfect? <3) And something like the song Cinderella sings in the new Cinderella movie, and a few other things.It has all the classic fairytale feel, and yet it’s a totally original fairytale, turning many of the old plot devices on their heads! To say much more would be to spoil the marvelous tale, but be assured that whether you like new or old tales, it will satisfy you either way.In the author’s note, she says she wrote it one spring in an apple orchard in blossom in Kent, England, and that it practically wrote itself. All of this makes perfect sense. It’s exactly the sort of beautiful little tale that would be perfect to be made in a blooming apple orchard in England! It just FEELS like that.It has this fabulous writing style, like many old fairytales and yet even better somehow, which is simultaneously beautiful and hilarious (don’t ask how. It just is). I don’t even know how the author did it, but it just has this perfect FEEL. There’s not a single thing I dislike about it.And the illustrations!! It was also illustrated by the author, and they’re just the most darling, beautiful, yet simplistic and perfect drawings ever! <3 They perfectly capture these lovely medieval fairytale kingdoms and characters. (It’s just the sort of setting I love the most in books!)Then the characters, all of whom are fabulous. Even the side characters have a lot of spirit to them, from the myriad councilors and ministers of two different kingdoms, to the king and queen, to the adorable animal friends of Amy, a red squirrel (one Mr Pemberthy) and a crow (Peter Aurelious), to the fairy Crustacea, the old fairy of the waters with hornrimmed spectacles who tends to drip and be somewhat cranky when she’s held up in traffic trying to reach the christening. (Seriously, the whole thing is fabulous like that.)The heroine, (Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne; a.k.a. “Amy”), the Ordinary Princess herself, is quite fun, and then the eventual hero, Peregrine! Oh my goodness, Peregrine was so wonderful! His lines, so British and fantastic, and only he would be met eating ice cream in the middle of the night in the midst of the leftovers of a banquet! So much wonderful. And they two of them together are just perfect and sweet and funny. I love them so much. <3The story itself is simply a rollick. The perfect fairytale mix of whimsical, fun, lovely, and slightly worried hoping everything will turn out all right, but being fairly sure it will, with a few twists which are absolutely perfect. (I know I keep using that word, but I will not apologize — I can’t think of a better one.)The writing, style, setting, humor, sweetness, illustrations, characters, story, dialog — it’s just all so fantabulous, I can’t get over it!! *flails around*I simply can’t describe how perfect it is, and the only thing for it is for you to read it yourself.If you love fairytales new and old, fun little books, a touch of adorable sweet romance, a bit of “English” feeling and wonderful dialog and humor, and just an all around lovely read, you simply MUST read The Ordinary Princess! It’s sweet, adorable, lovely, gorgeous, hilarious, and just all-around PERFECT.

  • Courtney Johnston
    2018-12-28 10:27

    Last night I was so tired that I found myself crying for pretty much no reason. Just those small soft tears that come out and surprise you. I'm five weeks into the job of my life (so far, anyway) and I was exhausted. And scanning my shelves for something soothing to take to bed - something that would both settle my mind and make me happy - I settled on 'The Ordinary Princess'.I remember borrowing and borrowing this book from my primary school library; I can see even now the shelf it sat on. Years ago I found a copy for sale at Arty Bees for $4, with the same cover - mousy-haired, tip-tilted-nosed Princess Amy in her absurdly ornate purple gown, fingers wistfully entwined behind her back. (The modern cover looks awful to my nostalgic eyes - far too elven.)M.M. Kaye's gently subversive fairytale came slightly before the fashion for so-ironic-it-hurts revisions of these narratives (contrast its softer tone to that of 'The Princess Bride'). There's an element of adult humour in it. but it's definitely still aimed at child readers. Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne is the seventh daughter of the King and Queen of Phantasmorania. Traditionally, seventh daughters are the most blessed, and baby Amethyst is as petal-skinned and pacific as can be. Against her father's better judgement ('You are all going to tell me that it is the custom of our kingdom to invite all fairies to the christening of a seventh daughter. You have already said it at least seven times, and I still say that it's RASH!') along with the dignitaries all the fairies are invited to the Princess's christening. The Princess receives gifts and nice qualities in spades - Wit, Charm, Courage, Charm - and then the powerful Crustacea turns up, delayed by traffic and in a bit of a mood. Crustacea assesses the situation and decides to give the child 'something that will probably bring more happiness than all these fal-lals and fripperies put together' - the gift of ordinariness. The gift takes hold immediately - the Princess's pink and white face screws up into something resembling a squashed tomato, and she starts to shriek. From this point on, the Princess becomes steadily more ordinary: her nose tips up, her freckles pop out, her golden curls turn into a mousy bob. Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne turns into Amy:She grew up as gawky as possible, with a distressing habit of standing with her feet apart and her hands behind her back, and hair of a colour that not even a court poet could describe as anything but just plain mouse. But though she proved every day how strong the old Fairy Crustacea's magic had been, her other christening gifts were not entirely wasted.True, the splendid jewels and brocades of the kings and princes and barons were quite out of place on her homely little person, but the fairy gifts had been very useful, for though she was ordinary, she possessed health, wit, charm and cheerfulness. But because she was not beautiful, no one ever seemed to notice these other qualities, which is so often the the way of the world. Not that it ever worried the Ordinary Princess.Rather than satisfy herself tossing about a golden ball in the garden with her six perfect sisters, Amy turns into a hidden rebel. After her nurse puts her to bed each night, she slips out her tower window, clambers down the wisteria, and disappears into the Faraway Forest, to roam at will. And she grows up happy and well-adjusted - but unmarriable. Princes and Dukes and Barons visit Phantasmorania to woo the legendary seventh daughter - then make a hurried escape the day after arriving, shocked into leaving by Amy's ordinariness. (Okay - writing this up, it sounds like prettiness is the be all and end all of life. And that's not the message of the book ... much.) In desperation, one of the courtiers comes up with a scheme to hire a dragon to lay waste to the countryside, drawing in suitor-heroes who, in a rush of bravado, will suddenly find themselves wed to the Ordinary Princess.Amy, when she discovers the plot, takes life into her own hands. She swops a grand gown for a humble frock, scampers down the wisteria, and heads off to the Faraway Forest (leaving behind an explanatory note for her parents, because she's thoughtful like that).From here the story unfolds, as Amy enters further and further into real life: the Forest is lovely but new clothes don't grow on trees, and she ends up having to take a job as 14th assistant kitchen-maid at the castle in Amber. She meets a nice young footman and ... well, therein lies the twist and the charm, and I'll leave that up to you to discover, if you so wish.Perhaps a little too much fuss is made of Amy's physical ordinariness for me to be able to enjoy this book quite as I used to (as a child who never felt pretty though, boy, did I empathise first with Amy at primary school then Cassandra Mortmain with her 'plain, rather clever' face during high school). But one thing that still appealed just as much as it did when I was 9 or 10 was Kaye's ability to write lusciously enjoyable lists:In the royal kitchens two hundred and twenty cooks, four hundred scullions, as many serving-men and five hundred kitchen-maids worked like mad, baking cakes and pies and pastries. They stuffed swans and peacocks and boars' heads, and made wonderful sweets - marzipan trees hung with crystallised cherries, and castles and dragons and great ships of sugar candy. Five cooks from Italy worked on the christening cake, which was decorated with hundreds of sugar bells and crystallised roses, and was so tall that they had to stand on silver step-ladders to ice it.The next is a little bit of spoiler, but I re-read it with such pleasure early this morning that I want to add it here. The chances that any of the three of you that read these things might read this book are so vanishingly slim that I may as well indulge myself.The Ordinary Princess smiled a little secret smile to herself and said: 'Tell me about princesses, Perry.''Well, first of all, they are very beautiful,' said Peregrine, leaning back against a tree-trunk and ticking off the points on his fingers. 'Then secondly and thirdly and fourthly, they all have long golden hair, and blue eyes, and the most lovely complexions. Fifthly and sixthly, they are graceful and accomplished. Seventhly, they have names like Persephone and Sapphire and Roxanne. And lastly,' said Peregrine, running out of fingers, 'they are all excessively proper and extremely dull ... except when they are make-believe princesses who are really kitchen-maids!'

  • Elsabet
    2019-01-03 09:35

    This was the sweetest story. It's very short, but that's just fine, and it has an innocence that is so hard to find these days. Amy is such an endearing character. You sympathize with her at once (because so few off us are drop dead gorgeous) and wish her the best. I first read this when I was eight, and I loved it. I read it again when I was fifteen, and discovered that I loved it even more than my eight-year-old counterpart did. And I still love it. That is probably the best way to tell if a book is good: if you loved it when you were a child, and still love it when you've grown (at least until you've discovered your set literary tastes), you have a keeper. I absolutely recommend this if you need a little something to brighten your day. It's a quick read, it probably won't take more than an hour, but it will make things seem brighter.Some of my favorite elements were Mr. Pemberthy (the squirrel) and Peter Aurelious (the crow). I always wanted a pet squirrel when I was little! And the "You can't spank a princess," scene was absolutely precious.

  • Jessica
    2019-01-01 06:38

    As delightful as I remembered! The kids really liked it, too! This is sort of a rare thing these days, in that it's a romance for children. Princess Amy's age is never talked about, but the entire book she's trying to dodge a horrible arranged marriage, and falls in love on her own. Sweet and charming, and I'd forgotten what a hilarious satire it is of classic fairy tales.

  • Emma Clifton
    2018-12-29 08:30

    What a delightful and sweet little book! I do love epic stories with action and danger and adventure, but now and then, I need something that's just happy and adorable. This book is a perfect spring read!

  • Jeanette
    2019-01-05 10:33

    It's cute and sweet, with a worthy premise. It was released in the 1980's with a YA designation for teens?? To me, it would be preteen audience fare, even in that era. Some of the names and the fairy tale grandiose designations for some of the under characters! I rather think this dates the whole and in an age tech ravaged children might not fly quite on the same path intended to this frolic. Maybe I'm wrong but it is SO simple a tale that the cutesy-cutesy names might seem almost babyish to the majority currently. The story line is fun and would be a short story length read for a 9 year old's challenge? About that age and probably much more liked by those who hold the rather traditional gender values, I would think. Amy works but as a kitchen maid. Amy certainly doesn't become a coal heaver.

  • TheBookSmugglers
    2019-01-14 08:40

    Originally reviewed on The Book SmugglersOnce upon a time, there was a faraway kingdom called Phantasmorania, ruled by a benevolent King and Queen. This happy royal couple was also blessed with the birth of six beautiful daughters, each princess more beautiful than the last, with rippling blonde hair, jewel blue eyes, and the fairest complexions of palest cream. And, each princess was given the name of a precious stone - Diamond, Opal, Emerald, Sapphire, Crystal, and Pearl. One fine day, the royal cannon boomed out twenty times, signifying the birth of a seventh princess, much to the delight of the townspeople, for it was common knowledge that the seventh princess was a good omen, and destined to be the most beautiful of them all. To celebrate the birth of their seventh child, the King and Queen decided to throw a grand celebration, and invited all of the fairies of the land in the hopes that they would bestow delightful and useful presents on their youngest child. And bestow these fine gifts the fairies did - Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne was given Charm and Wit and Grace and Courage, and many other similar traits besides, heaped on her already quite beauteous and sweet-tempered head of gold curls. But then, the most powerful fairy god-mother in the land - the prickly older fairy Crustacea with a notorious temper - bestowed her final gift on young Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne:"Wit, Charm, Courage, Health, Wisdom, Grace...Good gracious, poor child! Well, thank goodness my magic is stronger than anyone else's. She raised her twisty coral stick and waved it three times over the cradle of the seventh princess. "My child," said the Fairy Crustacea, "I am going to give you something that will probably bring you more happiness than all these fal-lals and fripperies put together. You shall be Ordinary!"And with that parting gift, Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne became quite Oridnary indeed. Her angelic disposition immediately became that of a normal cranky baby, her golden curls darkened and straightened, her complexion turned mottled and then freckled. As the years passed, she simply became known as Princess Amy - Ordinary, but happy, and far more interested in escaping to the woods to play than in the tedious rigors of court life, embroidering, or husband-finding. When all of Amy's sisters have been married off, however, and the princely prospects for the very Ordinary Amy look slim, her parents decide to resort to drastic measures to trick a prince into marrying the last daughter (the good old throw her in an isolated tower protected by a dragon scheme). Rather than endure that nonsense, Amy decides to run away - and embarks on an adventure that will lead to another kingdom, where she will find happiness, hard work, and someone who may be just as wonderfully Ordinary as she. Originally published in 1980, The Ordinary Princess is a charming, delightful little middle grade book. Taking the very familiar tropes of fairy tales - the beautiful princesses with hair of spun gold and eyes of sky blue, gifted with all the riches and graces in the land - and gives them a very overt twist. Kaye poses a very interesting question in The Ordinary Princess, because no matter how beautiful these traditional fairy tale princesses may be, wouldn't their lives be so very boring? How dull and unfulfilling would it be to be have everything given to you, to be forced into always acting properly and looking beautiful? With heroine Princess Amy - who is still quite gifted with Grace and Health and Wit and all those other good things, mind you - we see how beauty can be overrated, and that happiness comes from the choices one makes and not what one looks like. While the message is hardly subtle, it's an important one and one that is done well in this delightful book.There is a very linear, predictable nature to this story - and in that way it is in fact a perfect fairy tale. I'm reminded of Philip Pullman's own words in Tales from the Brothers Grimm regarding the essential components of a great fairy tale: the story must move quickly and told in an economy of words that is evocative, winsome, and most importantly brief. Characters do not need to be deeply nuanced or layered, and actions like falling in love are simple milestones that happen quickly, without elaboration or explanation. And in a book that is so clearly paying homage to the traditional folk tale, The Ordinary Princess certainly excels, telling a very different variation of a familiar princess story while adhering to the key ingredients that make a fairy tale successful. And that, dear readers, is thanks to voice. The most impressive and delightful thing about The Ordinary Princess is its narrative skill with words and that storyteller's voice - there is humor aplenty, charm in abundance, as well as the proper fairy tale-ish type of cadence and style. In under 150 pages? This is no small feat, but one that M.M. Kaye has accomplished so convincingly.It's easy for me to see why this particular book is so beloved; for even if the elements are simple and familiar, sometimes the simple and familiar are all you need. Definitely recommended for anyone looking for a quick, refreshingly sweet and fun read.

  • Grace Mullins
    2018-12-24 06:42

    Awww, that was so cute!

  • Cathleen
    2018-12-31 10:51

    A vintage treasure I found at a yard sale! Absolute adorable!

  • Katy
    2018-12-29 07:51

    Wonderful fairy and princess story.

  • Cheryl
    2019-01-05 06:43

    Found in a charity shop, so reread again. Didn't know this as a child, but I've read it at least three times as an adult to try to make it up to young me. Reminds me a bit of The 13 Clocks and Many Moons by James Thurber, or The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame or even The Light Princess by George MacDonald... if you like any in my list here, read the others too....

  • Chelsea
    2019-01-13 02:44

    One of my all-time favorite books, and one I reread regularly. When Princess Amethyst is born, her (slightly creepy) agreeableness prompts the oldest and crankiest of the fairies to give her the gift of ordinariness. And what a gift! Amy's fate suddenly takes a sharp turn, which results in mistaken identities, dragons, fake portraits, jewelry made from trees, and grandly named woodland animals.Charming, quirky, and one of those rare books that presents a fully-formed world quite removed from our own. A must read for anyone who likes fairy tales, or seeing fairy tales turned on their head.

  • Ekaterina
    2018-12-26 10:42

    This is such a cute and lovely book! This book is one of my favorite books because every time I read the book, I know that I will feel happy reading the book. I also love how the book is like a breath of fresh air. It's like the original fairy tales, but it is fun and light. It isn't dark like some fairy tales.

  • Diane Lynn
    2019-01-13 07:32

    An interesting little fairy tale by one of my favorite authors. I bumped it up to 4 stars because of the wonderful illustrations by the author. I didn't know MM Kaye could draw so well. I think young girls would like this story.

  • Clara Biesel
    2019-01-15 03:53

    Utterly charming. Can be read aloud in one evening. I love it.

  • Hannah Walsh
    2019-01-16 04:36

    First Read in 2012 Absolutely precious <3I was like "awwwww!!" the whole time. Awwwwww!!Re-read in 2015

  • Churin
    2018-12-27 02:46

    "Lavender's blue, Rosemary's green,When I am King,You shall be Queen"*me: inserting some "dilly dilly" to the lyrics just like in Cinderella live action movie*Yesssss finally I had the chance to read this amazing amazing mother-of-inspirations book!I keep seeing the recommendation of this book practically in every favorite middle-grade fairy tale retelling of mine. And yep, I definitely see the similarity between those books with this! All the ordinary-ness and the charming, quirky main character, especially. This book is simply delightful and I can't help but adore it. It has this classic children book voice, with the mature enough tone (unlike some of today's children books) and easy enough words for children to digest.One of the best things of this book is, how detailed some explanations are. Like this amusing paragraph:In the royal kitchens two hundred and twenty cooks, four hundred scullions, as many serving men, and five hundred kitchen maids worked like mad, baking cakes and pies and pastries. They stuffed swans and peacocks and boars’ heads and made wonderful sweets—marzipan trees hung with crystallized cherries, and castles and dragons and great ships of sugar candy. Five cooks from Italy worked on the christening cake, which was decorated with hundreds of sugar bells and crystalized roses, and was so tall that they had to stand on silver stepladders to ice it.You wouldn't believe how great children's memories are until you heard your cousin got excited and muttered, whispered and yelled "two hundred and twenty cooks!" over and over again after only hearing that being read one time. Overall such a fantastic read, I would definitely recommend this and I would like to reread this again later 😆😆😆

  • Chi
    2019-01-05 08:54

    I hadn't read this in years, but when I found it again, I finished it in one sitting. :)I'm glad to find (and report) that this book is still as sweet, charming, and wonderful as it was when I first read it as a teenager. This is definitely a book that I'd want my daughter to check out, when she has the patience to read something more than a picture book.

  • Amber Lynn
    2019-01-01 06:50

    WonderfulMy daughter just finished this book and she absolutely loved it. I highly recommend for young girls who live to read.

  • Katy Noyes
    2018-12-26 05:29

    What a refreshingly contemporary feel to this princess-needs-a-husband story. In true fairytale style, the seventh princess is blessed with gifts by a host of fairies, but as her father fears, it goes wrong and one slightly bitter fairy 'blesses' her with ordinariness. So no golden curls, stunning beauty and sublime grace for Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne. Her dark hair and freckles make Amy (no ordinary princess can be called anything else) stop every suitor from pursuing her. She decides to run away and make her own life, away from boring princes and a confined life.A life in the forest is bliss, but eventually Amy realises she will need some money, and must find work. The story is great, Amy is a wonderful role model - she's not going to accept her royal position and an easy life, she's a hard worker when needed, she's funny and smart and quite adorable. In her work as a kitchen maid, she meets a man-of-all-work and they start to enjoy each other's company. What a great story to show young girls that a princess's privileged life is not necessarily something to aspire to, that an equal relationship is a healthy and long-lasting one, that working for a living can bring its own rewards, that beauty is something intrinsic to a person, not just about skin, teeth and hair.The writing is chatty and easy to follow, one you could read aloud to a five-year-old or for an older child to easily read for themselves. It's one I've only heard of recently and wish I'd read at the age of 8 or 9, it's definitely one I would want children today still discovering, there is nothing old-fashioned about the writing. The illustrations (new Puffin version) are a little quaint looking, but still suited the story nicely, giving it a fairy-tale feel.Under-valued classic.