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The Practical Princess and Other Liberating Fairy Tales
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The Practical Princess and Other Liberating Fairy Tales

4.55 of 5 stars 4.55  ·  rating details  ·  124 ratings  ·  19 reviews
A collection of six of Williams' original fairy tales, originally released as individual picture-books. Includes: The Practical Princess; Stupid Marco; The Silver Whistle; Forgetful Fred; Petronella; and Philbert the Fearful.
Hardcover, 100 pages
Published May 29th 1992 by Chatto & Windus (first published 1969)
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Another set of short fairy tales (six of them), this one for much younger readers. The heroines in this are feisty and interesting and actually DO something, which is always a nice change.

They're aimed at pre-teens so were a little too obvious for me to fully enjoy. I wanted more from each of the stories, which is testament to the interesting ideas and engaging characters, although frustrating in the long run.

Definitely something I'd give my nieces though!
Anyone who wants to know a lot of the secrets of my personality should read this book. The idea is so cliche - like the "politically correct" fairly tales - up-ending gender roles and what-not, but really, I wanted to be all these girls, beautiful, sensible and heroic. To rescue the prince from an enchanter but then run off with the enchanter instead. That's awesome!
Aug 03, 2007 Lorena rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I loved this book as a girl. All of the princesses are smart and funny, and certainly not waiting around to be rescued - they go forth to rescue themselves and others. I highly recommend it to anyone whose kids are obsessed with princesses - it's a lovely counterpoint to the "Disney" version of what a princess is and should be, without being dull or preachy.
One of my favorites growing up, but couldn't remember the title. I think this was my first introduction to silhouettes. This may still be at my mother's house, but I intend to at least put a slip of paper with my name on it inside.
Some of the first reinvented, reconsidered fairy tales I ever read, and still among the best. Whimsical, edifying, funny and cohesive. The beautiful silhouette illustrations only add to its many charms.
I grew up with this book and I have an original copy that has a different cover.
I remember reading these tales when I was really young. At first, I thought that I would not like the book because I thought it would be too feminist (I like a princess in distress) but I was wrong. The stories are very original and keep you hooked. The princess are very smart, beautiful and "normal". The book is full of riches and beauty. I really like how they describe the places, instead of saying go to the desert, they say, "a land where the trees have leaves but no branches and where the gr ...more
2015 Reading Challenge

- A funny book
- A book of short stories
- A book set in a different country
- A book you can finish in a day
- A book from you childhood
- A book with magic

Amusing short stories with smart characters. I just wish it didn't have the typical marry-the-first-person-you-meet fairy tale tripe. Otherwise, cute book.
I read these stories to my girls....not only do they laugh out loud at the escapades of the (usually) hapless prince but they really identify with the intelligent, practical princesses.

Highly recommended for reading to young impressionable princesses.
Beth Wright
An intriguing read which really takes the classic fairytale sandwich and just changes up the filling a little (but for the better) :)
Rhian Pritchard
Ah, I love fairytales, and these were especially wonderful! Very entertaining. I wish I'd had these to read when I was younger!
Tredyffrin Kids
"All of the princesses in this collection of original tales are smart and funny, and certainly not waiting around to be rescued - they go forth to rescue themselves and others. I highly recommend it to anyone whose kids are obsessed with princesses - it's a lovely counterpoint to the Disney version of what a princess is and should be, without being dull or preachy."
Elizabeth S
Six short stories that are short and perfect. Gotta love a princess named Bedelia who deals with dragons in a very practical way. And a knight who didn't really want to go on a quest (it would be bad for his health) but manages to defeat the enchanter and then discovers it was the wrong castle. Whoops. Read and enjoy!
Amanda Cook
Fun, fast read. It took about an hour. A great way to lighten the mood after reading a heavier, intense book ("Ender's Game"). Although I don't have any daughters, I may get a copy someday to read to my boys when they're a bit older. We need more fairy tales with practical, sensible princesses...and absent-minded princes.
Empowering fairy tales where the princess is in charge and the savior. Will definitely get this to read to both my son and daughter.
I read this as a young girl so many times that I had parts of it memorized.
Liked the idea of a princess who didn't just sit about waiting to be rescued.
The illustrations fascinated me the most. I don't even remember the story.
Jodi marked it as to-read
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Jay Williams (May 31, 1914–July 12, 1978) was an American author born in Buffalo, New York, the son of Max and Lillian Jacobson. He cited the experience of growing up as the son of a vaudeville show producer as leading him to pursue his acting career as early as college. Between 1931 and 1934 he attended the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University where he took part in amateur theatrica ...more
More about Jay Williams...
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