Full of magic, Princess Leora's quest to foil the plans of her dastardly uncle is both exciting to read aloud and suitable for young children. The intricate illustrations bring this fairy tale to life beautifully.
I like the part where the balloon tree blossomed.
Like any child, Princess Leora loved playing and singing. But most of all, she loved balloons, so much so that her castle teemed with them. When business calls Leora's father away to another kingdom, the king leaves his grumpy brother, the Archduke, to care for his daughter. He tells Leora to signal trouble by releasing a bunch of balloons from the tower. Not surprisingly, Leora's uncle proves untrustworthy; he plans to usurp the kingdom and destroy all its balloons. Using a secret passage, the quick-thinking Leora visits her friend, the Wizard, who gives the princess a magic spell that will release balloons if Leora can find one to plant underneath the tree. A fruitless search through the night leaves Leora desperate until she meets a little boy who has one balloon in the back of his closet...
Prolific children's author Phoebe Gilman has constructed a fairy tale with all the classic elements: magic, evil characters, wizards and a brave heroine. Her lush, detailed illustrations burst off the page and reflect the pageantry of a castle setting. A timeless story: as enjoyable today as when first published in 1984.
This was my favorite book as a child.
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