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Four Princes Suffering from an Identity Crisis

The Hero's Guide to Saving your KingdomAuthor Christopher Healy offers the refreshing The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, delving into the lives of four unsung heroes known collectively as Prince Charming. Inside we discover...

 

Frederic: When he met Ella once upon a dance floor, proper Prince Frederic (a.k.a. the Prince Charming of Cinderella) literally swept her off her feet. After his teensy-toed love had been located, they became engaged. But then Frederic discovers a note from Ella, gently informing him of the end of their engagement and her intent to pursue adventure. Ella’s flight and Frederic’s determination to follow ultimately lead this Prince Charming (and the other three of that moniker) to find one another.

 

Gustav: Gustav has always been overshadowed by his older brothers and wrestles with the need to prove himself a hero. It doesn’t help that his love, Rapunzel, ended up rescuing him with her daring, persistence and magically healing tears.  Now a laughingstock in his own kingdom, by the time he meets Frederic, Gustav is disgruntled and more determined than ever to prove himself.

 

Liam: Of all the heroes worth singing about, the bards really dropped the ball when they failed to name Liam, star of Sleeping Beauty. Since childhood, Liam has performed feats of the greatest daring and has enjoyed an excellent reputation among his people.  Yet when his intended, Briar Rose, reveals her waspish, mean personality and Liam decides to call off the wedding, his subjects are anything but supportive. Rejected and determined to restore his reputation as a Good Guy, Liam is off questing for adventure when he encounters Frederic and Gustav.

 

Duncan: Duncan is a bit of an odd duck who since the time of his princely boyhood has been convinced that he is gifted with magical luck (he isn’t).  He also has some rather off-putting habits like loudly naming any animal he sees. Happily, his bride Snow White loves him dearly. Yet sometimes even Snow needs a break from Duncan, and it is when he is left on his own in the forest that he meets the trio of princes. From there, the real adventure begins.

 

The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom is a story of many parts: know-it-all dwarves, dastardly thieves, kidnappings and well-mannered giants. At its heart though, it’s a story of the friendship between the four flawed, fastidious, courageous and just plain weird individuals behind the mask of Prince Charming. Written to appeal to middle-grade readers, the humorous novel will also tickle the fancy of older readers. And with the movie rights under contract and two more books expected in the series, the adventure will soon continue.

Meghan

 
 

Children's Books at the Oscars

Invention of Hugo CabretHarry Potter and the Deathly HallowsAdventure of Tintin, Volume 1

It's no secret that many of Hollywood's most successful blockbusters are adaptations of popular books. The recent Academy Award nominees refect this, especially when it comes to family films. Here are some of the children's titles that brought magic to the movies this year:

 

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick became the visually stunning film Hugo directed by Martin Scorsese.  This tale of an orphaned boy living in a Paris train station was the surprise winner of the Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book in 2008.  Selznick’s creative style mixes pages of text with wordless pages that opens the reader’s imagination and invites them to create parts of the story for themselves.  Selznick’s newest title Wonderstruck is similarly illustrated.

 

The Adventures of Tintin is adapted from the classic graphic novel series of the same name written by Belgian writer/artist Herge.  Tintin is a young reporter who gets caught up in dangerous adventures as he completes his story assignments.  Modeled after the boy scout values, Tintin always knows what is right and acts in the most upstanding manner.  He is a role model for children (and perhaps adults everywhere.

 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II marks the end of the film journey into J.K. Rowling’s magical world.  The books are now over 14 years old and a whole new generation of readers are jumping on the Hogwarts express and following Harry as he learns to be a wizard and discovers both good and evil along the way.  The Harry Potter books have spawned movies, video games, board games, toys, websites, and even a theme park.  The audiobooks are magnificently narrated by the Grammy award-winning Jim Dale.  A fun fact—Jim Dale holds the Guinness World Record for creating 146 different character voices for the audiobook version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!

Sam