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The Plain Princess

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  71 ratings  ·  14 reviews
The King and Queen plan a birthday party for their daughter Esmeralda, showering her with gifts and toys, ordering a feast with entertainment, and inviting a neighboring Prince to play with her. But the Princess is in a sulky mood, and throwing one of her royal tantrums, she goads the usually well-mannered Prince into declaring what no one has ever dared to admit that she ...more
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published December 1st 1945 by HarperCollins Children's Books (first published 1945)
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  71 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Less appeal nowadays, I suppose, because it's so earnest as to be almost didactic, and of course because we don't say that people are 'plain' much less 'homely' or 'ugly' any more. And I prefer Andersen's The Swineherd myself.

But it's still a nice story, with an important message (all too relevant as now too many parents do spoil our children), and delightful illustrations. Try your university library.
Laura Roberts
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kidlit
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really love this story and think it makes a great lesson for children. It is about a princess who has almost everything as far as material possessions, but her physical appearance is described as "plain." I will not divulge what happens to her that increases her beauty, but it makes for a fun story and a good lesson. It is a hard book to find for a good price. It is out of print. I feel so lucky that I bid on a copy on eBay and got a good deal. I had been looking for this book for awhile. My ...more
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read this one aloud to my seven yr old daughter in one sitting (she wouldn't let me stop). She was enthralled. I loved the chances it opened up to have conversations on important subjects for young girls (do your looks really matter that much? What are they reflective of? What really changed for the princess and how?).
Cheryl Higgins
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For children but GREAT. Loved it in 4th grade and read it to classes.
Samantha Naud
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great writing. Your classic story of the spoiled girl who gains true beauty when she learns to live an unselfish life. Short book for early readers.
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
I decided to read this book because it was sitting on my library shelf, and I wanted to see whether it would still be relevant or attractive to today's little girls. I'd actually never heard of it before, even though it's been around for ages! And I loved some of Phyllis McGinley's other books when I was little, especially A Wreath of Christmas Legends.

My verdict? Though not a great book, this is charming, and will appeal to girls who enjoy old fashioned stories and fairy tales. I'd actually
Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
"The Plain Princess" is a children's picture book. It's a fun little book about how a spoiled, disagreeable child is viewed as plain, but as she learns to be helpful and unselfish, she becomes "beautiful." It's a nice lesson and an entertaining sequence of events illustrated with colorful drawings. It's probably not easy to find, but I do recommend this enjoyable story.
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Unlike The Ordinary Princess (by M.M. Kaye) who learns to appreciate her non-regal appearance, this plain princess goes through a physical change for the better as she matures. BUT this is not a book about the importance of outward beauty. Quite the opposite. Charming.
Jan 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1945-to-1960-ad
My siblings and I felt very much like the Goodwit daughters when we heard this as kids. We had the story though, not the play.
Nov 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
a princess learns that beauty comes from within. Actually, from without, how we work and love others. a great little book.
A short morality tale about a plain, spoiled, rude princess who learns how to be kind, cheerful, and hard-working. Her attitude and actions transform her outer self and she becomes beautiful.
Dec 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully illustrated book about a sour and snobbish princess who discovers beauty through kindness
Elaine Cooper
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Like the ethical values of the characters, they were very nice to one another.
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McGinley was educated at the University of Southern California and at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. After receiving her diploma in 1927, she taught for a year in Ogden and then at a junior high school in New Rochelle, New York. Once she had begun to establish a reputation for herself as a writer, McGinley gave up teaching and moved to New York City, where she held various jobs. She ...more