Friday, 21 August 2015

ReadItDaddy's First Book of the Week - Week Ending 21st August 2015 - "The Princess and the Pony" by Kate Beaton (Walker Books)

Our first Book of the Week winner may have a deceptively 'girly' title but it's definitely going to surprise you with every single turn of the page (and make you laugh a lot too!) - Here's "The Princess and the Pony" by Kate Beaton
I'd already heard of (and loved) Kate Beaton's work before this gloriously funny book dropped through our letterbox for review. Kate's irreverent but hilarious "Hark, a Vagrant" web comic (which sadly doesn't seem to be available in the UK from any publisher as a collected volume yet. PLEASSSSSEEEE make this happen!) is really worth checking out.

But today we're here to talk about Kate's fabulous picture book debut for Walker Books. When I told Charlotte that we were reviewing "The Princess and the Pony" her eyes rolled (in fact at one point I swear her eyes went in different directions, just like the pony in this tale).

The Princess here is not a pink-loving dress-obsessed fluffy little girl, she is in fact a warrior princess! Though she's tough, sassy and full of energy, folk will insist on treating her like a delicate little flower so when her birthday rolls around, it usually means she'll end up with a pile of cuddly sweaters instead of armour, arrows, shields or swords (how sucky is that!)

This year though, Princess asks her parents to get her a noble steed (side note: LOVE Princess's parents, who are sort of like hipster warriors with a veneer of complete coolness about 'em!)

It's vital for all warriors to have a brave war horse to ride into battle, so she begs and pleads until her parents relent.

But, ah - they haven't quite got it right. What Princess ends up with is a very odd dumpy little fellow, flatulent, boss-eyed and too cute to be any use in a scrap.

There's a problem on the horizon. Princess is gearing up for the big Warrior Contest and she's not entirely convinced her pony is going to be much use as he prefers wandering around with his tongue hanging out, or rolling around on his back kicking his legs in the air. What on earth is going to happen when he's faced with bloodthirsty warriors ready to chop him into tiny little bite-sized pieces?

Kate's Princess is the sort of princess we love to bits on the blog. She breaks the mould, she doesn't take any guff from adults, and she's definitely the sort of character that girls like Charlotte can get behind. Slightly tomboyish but with a heart of gold, and a toughness that we can't help but admire.

Pony - well he just makes us giggle (needless to say Charlotte giggles loudest when Pony lets off the odd tail-lifting trump or two!)

A brilliant book that we're really truly hoping is the start of a series for Princess and Pony, there's so much potential here for more tales.

Charlotte's favourite bit: The chaotic battle scene is fantastic and crazy.

Daddy's favourite bit: Don't even THINK for one moment that this is your ordinary everyday average cutesy-pie princess and pony story, it's a rip-roaring rollicking belter of a book of the week that will make you laugh out loud (and beg for more at the end!)

(Kindly sent to us for review by Walker Books)

"The Princess and the Pony"

Written and Illustrated by Kate Beaton

Published by Walker Books

Release Date: 6th August 2015