Sunday, 27 February 2011

Princess Poppy: Playground Princess by Janey Louise Jones

3rd March 2011, Corgi 
32 pages, Paperback
Review copy 


School life, playtime, a child's imagination, bullying, being in a gang (I use the term very loosely), the negative traits of a girl's personality, staying silence when action should be taken, confessions, saying sorry, having fun. 

Summary from Random House Children's Books (note: This is copied and pasted from RHCB Australia - at the time of writing this review, the English site was down and a wonderful Australian friend got the info for me. They aren't getting the book until May). 

Poppy and Honey play together every break time until the day when Poppy decides to join the Blossom Tree Club. She simply can’t wait to be one of the gang but Honey is not so keen, she is perfectly happy playing fairy princesses with Poppy. 

Things soon go wrong when the club members start picking on Honey and when they not only break the blossom tree but smash the school green house during Poppy's induction into the club. 

Nayuleska's Thoughts
Squeee!! as one of my friends says (a phrase a few of us have adopted). Another Princess Poppy adventure. It was a lovely surprise to see this in my box of books this month. I love the colour and style of the illustrations, which naturally play a huge role for picture books. I can sense the fairy princess magic that Poppy and Honey feel when they play together. But for a little while that isn't enough for Poppy. She sees the girls having fun, and wants to join them. She doesn't think about the consequences it will have on Honey. She notices how mean the girls are, but I think a part of her likes the attention she has with them, so says nothing. I think maybe she feels that keeping silent means she isn't joining in on teasing Honey, but in actual fact she is. She doesn't stand up for Honey, and then they get in trouble. I think that was a wake up call that in fact her new 'friends' weren't friendly. Poppy seeks forgiveness from Honey, and she gets it. 

I think this book sends out a brilliant message that no one is perfect. Friends can make mistakes at any time, but if they are sorry for what they've done they should be forgiven. Plus mean-ness never wins. These girls are spiteful, and I had girls like them not at my primary school, but definitely at my secondary school. I know what it feels like to be Honey. I'm pretty sure most readers can relate to several elements in the story. I'm sure all will like the cute little letter in an envelope at the start of the book which has a letter from Poppy about friendship and how to play fairies!

Final conclusion
Poppy is a realistic image of a young girl's imagination, one who is true to her friends (eventually), who wants to have fun with everyone. 

Suggested reads: Princess Poppy: The Hidden Jewels. This was the first Princess Poppy book I read, and it's very cute. 

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