The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
Walden Pond Press (May 1, 2012) 448 pages
My Rating: 5/5 stars
"There's a lot you don't know about Prince Charming: Prince Charming has no idea how to use a sword; Prince Charming has no patience for dwarfs; Prince Charming has an irrational hatred of capes.
Some of you may not even realize that there's more than one Prince Charming. And that none of them are actually named Charming. No one is. Charming isn't a name; it's an adjective."
I could tell right away that I was going to like this book! With three little ones, I need a good laugh! Often! This book was just the medicine to provide laugh after laugh. It was wonderfully entertaining to see how different each of the princes and princesses actually were compared to their famous stories.
First up in the story were Prince Frederic and his Lady Ella. While Frederic has been trained to enjoy the life of a homebody, Ella craves a life of adventure. Then, Prince Gustav and his Lady Rapunzel come into the story. Prince Gustav has 16 older brothers. Despite his 6-foot-5 frame, he's by far the smallest of his family. This has given him somewhat of a "Napoleon complex". Prince Liam is actually the closest to a "true prince" in the story. He's portrayed as dashing and chivalrous. Princess Briar Rose is not what you would expect from a princess, though. She's spoiled, selfish, and cruel.
Finally, there's the quirky pair of Prince Duncan and Snow White. Duncan seems to have a "mystical good luck power" that makes unlikely things happen in a beneficial way. He also likes to randomly name animals as he sees them. (I *love* that this part is included on the cover of The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle.) Duncan was my favorite part of the story. While he comes off a bit naive, to say the least, he was a fun character!
The illustrations are the *perfect* addition to the story! For that reason, I highly recommend you get your hands on an actual copy of the book, as opposed to the kindle edition. I read this one on my kindle. Now I *love* my kindle, but I know my reading experience would have been even better if I could have flipped back and forth looking at the pictures as I read. My heart did a little happy dance as I pulled my copy of The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle from its envelope! (Thanks Walden Pond Press!) Plus, since the cover picture expands onto the back of the book on The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle, I assume it also does on the cover of A Hero's Guide. I keep wondering what I'm missing out on.
If you enjoy middle grade fiction *at all*, I highly recommend you pick up The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom. Way back in the day, I was a *huge* fan of Bronson Pinchot. Since finding out that he narrates the audio version of this book, I'm determined to *listen* to this story also.
This book is just great, humorous, fun!