Heide, Florence Parry. 2009. PRINCESS HYACINTH (THE SURPRISING TALE OF A GIRL WHO FLOATED). Ill. by Lane Smith. New York: Random House. ISBN 9780375845017 [Suggested Grade Levels K- 3]
Princess Hyacinth is not a typical princess and this is not a typical princess book. Princess Hyacinth looks like an average girl—or an average princess—but, alas, she has one problem. She floats up into the air. Her parents, the king and queen, sew golden weights into her clothes, but even that does not solve the problem entirely. The heavy weights made walking difficult and at night she sleeps floating above her bed. She cannot even play outside without wearing her heavy crown or lashed to a bench.
One day she sees a balloon man with a marvelous bunch of balloons so she takes off her weighted clothes and clad only in her royal underwear, asks the balloon man to let her float up into the sky while he holds the balloons. The balloons get tangled and Hyacinth floats away. Boy, a child who waves at her every day, rescues her with his kite and hauls her back. After that, she goes out every evening to float and he reels her in. Afterwards, they eat tea and popcorn at the palace.
This feisty heroine is a charmer and Lane Smith’s comical illustrations make it an exceptional addition to the library or classroom collection.
Use to illustrate traditional fairy tales vs. modern fairy tales. Have children create their own modern fairy tales and act them out.
Other picture books by Florence Parry Heide:
Heide, Florence Parry. THE TREEHORN TRILOGY: THE SHRINKING OF TREEHORN, TREEHORN’S TREASURE, AND TREEHORN’S WISH. ISBN 9780810959941
By Janet Hilbun