book review

Princess Pigsty by Cornelia Funke, illustrated by Kerstin Meyer

Cover Image

Princess Isabella is not your typical princess.   She hates her beautiful princess clothes, wants to make her own sandwiches, and does NOT want her hair curled.  One day, Princess Isabella has had enough, and throws her crown out the window and into the goldfish pond, declaring “I am tired of being a princess!  It’s boring, boring, boring!”   Of course her father the king is not happy with his young daughter, and punishes Isabella in a variety of ways that only make Isabella more determined to be her own person; after a trip to the pigsty she asks the king if he knows that pigs are “incredibly smart animals” and says that “It’s a shame to eat them”.  It is after the stay in the pigsty that the king begins to appreciate his daughter’s tenacity, and the final illustration of the king and the princess walking to the castle holding hands helps to show that the father and daughter love each other dispite their differences.  Many young readers will relate to and appreciate Isabella’s strong personality.  The bright, cartoon watercolors help add funny details to the story, such as depicting Isabella in flip flops and brown pants, and all the characters have expresive faces from the bewildered pigs in the pigsty to Isabella’s vapidly smiling sisters.  Young readers will appreciate this modern fairy tale with its happily ever after ending.


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