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

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4.51  ·  Rating Details ·  161 Ratings  ·  21 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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Felicity
Dec 25, 2007 Felicity rated it it was amazing
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.
Vorbis
Nov 09, 2015 Vorbis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved these stories when I was a kid. Loving them just as hard as an adult. They're a brilliant example of the classical form of a fairy tale, and they have great heroines who rescue themselves.
Ceridwyn
Jul 01, 2009 Ceridwyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fantasy
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!
Marisa
Jun 04, 2008 Marisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Tredyffrin Children
"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."
Lorena
Aug 03, 2007 Lorena rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Magda
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.
Deirdre
Sep 23, 2012 Deirdre rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I grew up with this book and I have an original copy that has a different cover.
Mary
Oct 08, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childhood-books
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
Carrie
Jan 28, 2015 Carrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Shahrun
Apr 19, 2016 Shahrun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely love this book! It was one of my favourites as a child, and it's lost none of its magic over the passage of time. In my opinion a fairytale is a timeless classic - exactly what we have here. Love the gorgeous illustratations too. My only complaint is I'd like more!
Buggz79
Sep 25, 2014 Buggz79 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Matt Wright
Nov 05, 2014 Matt Wright rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intriguing read which really takes the classic fairytale sandwich and just changes up the filling a little (but for the better) :)
Rhian Pritchard
Oct 14, 2014 Rhian Pritchard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah, I love fairytales, and these were especially wonderful! Very entertaining. I wish I'd had these to read when I was younger!
Elizabeth S
Jan 04, 2010 Elizabeth S rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: c-juvenile
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
Feb 12, 2012 Amanda Cook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Tanya
Mar 29, 2011 Tanya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Empowering fairy tales where the princess is in charge and the savior. Will definitely get this to read to both my son and daughter.
Megan
Mar 03, 2008 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this as a young girl so many times that I had parts of it memorized.
Shell
Apr 12, 2012 Shell rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked the idea of a princess who didn't just sit about waiting to be rescued.
Lisa
Sep 15, 2007 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The illustrations fascinated me the most. I don't even remember the story.
Chantae
Apr 29, 2011 Chantae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it.
Pat
Pat rated it it was amazing
Sep 19, 2016
Yvensong
Yvensong marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2016
Katrina
Katrina marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2016
Pawestri Ati
Pawestri Ati rated it really liked it
Sep 05, 2016
Amelia
Amelia marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2016
Laura Grosse
Laura Grosse rated it it was amazing
Aug 24, 2016
Lady Entropy
Lady Entropy marked it as to-read
Aug 21, 2016
Demi Alexander
Demi Alexander marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2016
Avery King
Avery King rated it it was amazing
Aug 15, 2016
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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
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