Friday 16 June 2017

ReadItDaddy's Chapter Book of the Week - Week Ending 16th June 2017 - "Princess Smartypants and the Fairy Geek Mothers" by Babette Cole (Hodder Children's Books)

Our Chapter Book of the Week makes us both happy and sad at the same time. "Princess Smartypants and the Fairy Geek Mothers" by Babette Cole...
Babette Cole was, without a doubt, a legendary children's storyteller and illustrator. Her books were as wild, fantastic and chaotic as the lady herself and if anyone could ever lay claim to truly inventing Girl Power long before the Spice Girls ever coined that particular catch phrase, it was probably Babette.

Her Princess Smartypants books effectively broke the mould long before Princess Mania even kicked in amongst young girls. Babette's eponymous heroine showed that princesses didn't need to be simpering wet-ends gadding about in pink dresses waiting for handsome princes to turn up and rescue them.

Princess Smartypants would always be happiest when she was the one doing the rescuing, or as in the case of "Princess Smartypants and the Fairy Geek Mothers", thwarting a rather horrible change in Fairy Tale Land.

You see the Fairy God Mothers are being made redundant, replaced by smarmy Fairy Geek Mothers who - rather than granting wishes - make you buy them through their online web site.

As various characters in Fairy Tale Land buy some rather horrible wishes to thwart the heroes of their stories, it's up to Princess Smartypants and Doris to try and work out a way to undo the mess.

As usual, Babette's whip-smart observations on the state of the world are weaved lovingly into a hugely entertaining tale. We've read the various Princess Smartypants picture books so these chapter book versions are all new to us - but contain the same zany and brilliant mix of crazy characters and energetic fizziness that the picture books do.

It was a bit of a sad moment reading the dedication in this book (to Babette herself) and realising that this really is the very last story to be published. I hope somewhere up there (if there is an 'up there') Babette's looking down favourably on the way this book turned out, we loved every scrap of it and miss her to bits.

"Princess Smartypants and the Fairy Geek Mothers" by Babette Cole is out now, published by Hodder Children's Books.