Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Simple Prince

The Simple Prince
Jane Yolen ~ Jack Kent ~ Parents' Magazine Press, 1978

Nothing better than a 'grass is always greener' tale to wind down the week. Not to mention Jack Kent, who always puts me in a great mood.

Last night my husband went out for drinks after work, so left on our own, my son declared we should have a "movie and book fest".

After snuggling down, watching The Iron Giant and weeping profusely together, we settled in for the book portion which consisted of the two of us, with a pile of books in the middle, alternately reading aloud. On the menu, a few Piggie and Gerald books, a random Spanish board book, Monsters, Ralph's Secret Weapon, Rotten Island, and this little gem.

There once was a prince who longed to live a simple life. He was tired of idle foolishness and fancy dress balls. So he clapped his hands three times to call his servants. "Bring me some plain clothes," he demanded. "I am going out into the world to live the simple life."

And off he goes, to put upon a poor farmer and his wife to show him the simple life. The prince demands tea, but the farmer insists they need fire and water first to make it.

After the sawing and hauling and the inevitable milking of the cow, he still foolishly requests some bread, and the comedy continues until at last...

"Enough! Enough!" he cried, "I can live no more of the simple life. It is much too hard for me."

He's hauls butt back to his cushy palace, and learns to say please and thank you and appreciate all he has.

On Jane Yolen's Website, she includes anecdotal information about all her books which I find totally charming. About The Simple Prince...

The original story was (I thought) better written but I had to revise it downwards for the editor in order to make it fit into a line of easy-readers. An original tale about a prince who decides to live the simple life and discovers just how difficult that is. This book was written during the 1970s when a lot of hippies who had been brought up in cities decided to “go back to the land.” Few of them stayed there!


Also by:
Jack Kent's Twelve Days of Christmas
I Was Walking Down the Road
The Grown-Up Day
The Fox and the Crow
The Biggest Shadow in the Zoo
The Animobile Book
Jack Kent's Book of Nursery Tales
Dooly and the Snortsnoot
Mr. Meebles
Cindy Lou and the Witch's Dog
The Blah
Jack Kent's Valentine Sticker Book
The Bremen-town Musicians
Round Robin
Just Only John
Fly Away Home
Fat Cat
Piggy Bank Gonzales
Socks for Supper


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stephanie said...

I found a copy of this book at our local thrift store a few months ago and adore it! It is so true!

OnePerfectDay said...

I've never read this book, but it looks soooo good!
I LOVE the illustrations!

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