** spoiler alert **
The Three Princes is a tale from the Middle East retold by Eric A. Kimmel. Illustrations were done by Leonard Everett Fisher. In the story, there is a beautiful princess who is forced to choose among three handsome suitors who she would like to marry. In order to decide she offers a challenge; she will marry whoever manages to bring her the best gift. The Three Princes scour the four corners of the earth and manage to find; a crystal ball that allows the user to see anything in the world, a flying carpet, and a piece of fruit which will heal any sickness. Upon their return they find the princes on the brink of death and must use their gifts together in order to save her. The princess decides to choose the prince who had to sacrifice his gift in order to save her (medicine prince). Everyone lives happily ever after.
This tale can be taught in many ways thematically. It can be used as a basis to teach the importance of, good sportsmanship, choices, value, and love. As a teacher I would probably use this book in conjunction with an essential question like, “What is love?” The question is timeless and has often lead to a much needed conversation in my classroom in order to help students recognize the difference between, ‘Hollywood love’ and ‘abusive love.’