cover image The Princess Who Had No Kingdom

The Princess Who Had No Kingdom

Ursula Jones, illus. by Sarah Gibb. Albert Whitman, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8075-6630-5

In a fairy-tale collaboration first published in 2009 in the U.K., Jones and Gibb introduce a princess in search of her kingdom. “It must be somewhere,” she muses to her horse. Shabby but still soignée (her loveliness and balletic bearing bring to mind Audrey Hepburn) and self-reliant, the princess earns money by using her pony cart to deliver “ostrich eggs that were about to hatch or troublesome things like lame dogs or unruly grannies.” The female half of high society snubs her, and the male half is utterly infatuated, but the princess gives her heart to a penniless, clever jester who understands that, together, they can be the “Queen and King of Here, There, and Everywhere.” Gibb’s impressively elaborate silhouette scenes and full-color drawings have the cool, composed élan of 1920s fashion illustration. Though the images of the poised princess doesn’t always evince the spunk in Jones’s text—this is a girl, after all, who asks, “Do I have to do everything around here?” having all but proposed to the jester—that won’t stop readers from finding her story enchanting. Ages 4–7. (Sept.)