Born as perfect as a snowflake with gorgeous blue eyes and dainty pearl pink toes, Princess Cora would one day become queen. Her parents, The King and The Queen are determined that she be fully prepared. Anxiety takes over and they develop a strict and unwavering schedule: hours of boring lessons with ghastly dull readings, hours of exercise and laps in the converted dungeon, and three baths a day – being clean is important! There are no days off. There is no time for fun, and Princess Cora is absolutely sick of it. In desperation she writes to her Fairy Godmother.
Nobody listens to me. My mother and father won’t let me have a pet and Nanny says I don’t even want one. But I do. And I’m sick and tired of everything.
Please help me.
Then she tore the letter into scraps and dropped them out the window. But because it was a letter to her fairy godmother, every scrap turned into a white butterfly and flew away.”
Princess Cora wakes up to find a box at the foot of her bed with holes punched in it so something could breathe. Opening the box, Princess Cora finds a scaly and green … crocodile. They plan to switch places. Princess Cora will have the day off for adventuring, and the crocodile, willing to fill in for CREAM PUFFS, will spend the day following the royal routine.
The Princess has a perfectly wonderful day. Crocodile, Nanny, The Queen and The King do not! Lessons are ultimately learned all the way around. While it remains important for a future Queen to be clean, informed and strong, it is also important that the future queen have time to play, relax and enjoy the love of her very own fluffy, golden dog.
Laura Amy Schlitz’ writing, as always, is superb.That writing here is beautifully complimented by the illustrations of Brian Floca. They go together perfectly. What a fun book to read-aloud (or read on your own.) I imagine even fourth and fifth graders will appreciate the havoc and humor the crocodile brings to the castle during a classroom read-aloud. The story will provide lots of opportunity to examine over scheduled lives and create plans to address them.
A prefect joy! (I confess to being quite a fan of Laura Amy Schlitz – reading her books is a joy. I’ve loved them all! Here are some I think you might enjoy too. Her books are remarkably diverse.)