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The Light Princess

by George Macdonald

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About Book

The fact that George MacDonald--a scholar as well as a preacher and writer--once read this fairy tale to his students instead of giving them a lecture says volumes about the man and his beliefs. It also says much about his faith in the power of stories. The Light Princess is a simple enough tale, clearly written for children--a princess at her christening is cursed by a wicked witch with lightness (she floats blissfully about the castle all day long, and gets into all sorts of adventures, as one can easily imagine)--yet it holds a powerful spiritual truth. Gravity, weight, sorrow, suffering--all of this the princess misses, but with all of these she misses love, for what is love without weight, without body? What is love without falling? She discovers this truth, of course, only at the last minute when a faithful prince loves her enough to die for her.

Sometimes it's not a ponderous lecture--or sermon--that we need in order to experience what incarnation is about. --Doug Thorpe.

From Publishers Weekly
McKinley's deft adaptation trims the story without sacrificing the witty vitality of MacDonald's 19th century original. The story of a bewitched princess (gravity does not affect her) and the prince who will sacrifice his life for her is presented in a lavishly illustrated package. Treherne's intensely decorative drawings add a striking visual dimension: her use of rich colors and elegantly stylized figures creates a romantic, mysterious mood. Each picture is bordered by a motif that emphasizes an element of the story, which effectively enhances both text and pictures. All ages.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4The long-awaited princess, a newborn only child, is cursed at her christening by an uninvited disgruntled outrageous guest. The curse: lightness of body and spirit. The princess is given to uncontrollable floating and merri ment. The cure is love, which makes her cry and brings her down to earth. McKinley has cut approximately two thirds of MacDonald's 19th-Century fairy tale, keeping the spirit, grace, and wit of the original. She also keeps the king's inane Chinese philosophers, Hum-Drum and Kopy-Keck, MacDon ald's tasteless but harmless creations whose worst fault is that theirs is the section of the story that children skip over and forgetthey are truly, deeply boring; mercifully, here they are cut to a minimum. Treherne's buoyant, styl ized, full-page, full-color watercolors are reminiscent of Errol LeCain's. In tricate borders pick up a minor pattern in each picture and frame it with stun ning effect. Nothing much has been done with this classic since Maurice Sendak (Farrar, 1969) illustrated it with wonderful tongue-in-cheek formality. This new edition brings a younger gen eration a charming combination of tal ent.Helen Gregory, Grosse Pointe Public Library, Mich.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

"For [this] elegant edition of the Victorian story that combines seriousness with levity and farce with fantasy, the artist has created pictures that...present the ludicrous element of the story; then become poetic and romantic; and finally are climaxed by the last crowning revelation of the light princess humanized by sorrow and love." --Starred, The Horn Book

Card catalog description
Because she is not invited to the christening of the princess, the King's sister casts a spell depriving the child of gravity and the ability to weep tears.



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