Princess Smartypants Breaks the Rules

Publisher: Penguin

Review

What else would we expect from our favourite feisty young princess? When the Queen sends Princess Smartypants to finishing school in the hope of attracting some princely suitors, the princess is having none of it. Not for her, boring lessons in weaving, spinning, wand-waving and deportment.

Right from her arrival, Madame Twinklebotham marks Smartypants out as a troublemaker, and she lives up to the designation. Not content to just break the rules herself, Princess Smartypants is going to teach her fellow do-goody princesses how to follow suit.

As with other books in the Princess Smartypants series, Cole has a lot to say here about gender stereotyping, but the book is more than a conveyor belt for politically correct messaging. Put simply, there is so much to look at and appreciate in her drawings. Tiny details, such as a gentle twist of the mouth or a popping of the eyes, convey so much, complemented by a wonderfully droll storytelling style. The total effect and madcap style is beguiling and compelling.

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