cover image Tough Princess

Tough Princess

Martin Waddell. Philomel Books, $11.95 (28pp) ISBN 978-0-399-21380-9

A king and queen who ""kept losing wars and kingdoms, and ended up living in a caravan,'' hope that their forthcoming baby (they're sure it'll be a boy) will grow up to restore their fortunes. The baby turns out to be a girl, the king devises a new scheme, which involves a Bad Fairy, to make them rich, and the Princess grows up with a mind of her own. Bopping the Bad Fairy before she can cast a spell, the Princess sets off on her bicycle and rescues several rich princes, ``but she didn't like them, and so she threw them back.'' Benson's full-color pictures are perfectly suited to this original, fractured fairy tale, which features a tall, skinny, dark-haired princess and a big-jawed, blond prince. The large print and funny, well-designed drawings have much appeal. Ages 68. (February)