Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dangerously Ever After…

Let’s just get a couple things taken care of right away…no, I did not write this book. And yes, I wish I had! While I don’t have daughters of my own (or sons either, if you were wondering) I do have two adorable nieces, and one precocious little neighbor, so I know the whole “princess thing” has gone completely and totally out of control insane (thanks Disney). It seems every little girl these days dreams of being a princess of some sort; it’s a little bit unnerving if you ask me. But finally, there is a princess even I can believe in and her name is Amanita…

“Princess Amanita loved things that were dangerous. She loved her pet scorpion, and her brakeless bicycle, and her collection of daggers and broken glass…But most of all she loved her garden, which was said to be the most dangerous in the world”...so begins Dangerously Ever After by Dashka Slater, illustrated by Valeria Docampo, and yes I was squealing with joy as I read.

While I wanted to ask for a several images so you could see Princess Amanita watering her garden, complete with specimen cactus and lovely thistles, I also didn't want to give too much of the fun away that's involved in turning every page. I'll just say this is a little lady that knows what the most important feature on a rose is, and displays them accordingly … thorn side up!
As with all good books there's another tale woven into the story and this one involves the princess expanding her world and way of thinking. If you've got a little princess on your holiday gift list I highly recommend this book. Not only will she be exposed to the joy of gardening but dangerous gardening (sounds like an excuse to package a small cactus with the book!). And while I may have unintentionally (or perhaps intentionally) made things a little “darker” if I were the author or illustrator (a little Edward Gorey comes to mind), the story stays on the fun side of danger and thus should appeal to a wide range of princess attitudes.

Finally in case you’re wondering about the name Amanita… “The genus Amanita contains about 600 species of agarics including some of the most toxic known mushrooms found worldwide, as well as some well regarded edible species. This genus is responsible for approximately 95% of the fatalities resulting from mushroom poisoning, with the death cap accounting for about 50% on its own. The most potent toxin present in these mushrooms is α-amanitin.” (source)...brilliant!

(the disclaimer: I was sent a complimentary review copy of this book with no pressure to write about it…but since I LOVED everything about it why wouldn't I?)

30 comments:

  1. This book sounds great. Too bad my daughters are a little too old for it, otherwise I would have gotten it for them.

    My daughters were into princesses, too, but it was just a phase. They're 11 and 14 now and despise princesses :-).

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    1. Glad to hear they grew out of it, gives me hope!

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  2. Thanks for the recommendation! I have grand-nieces who I bet would love this!

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    1. Grand-nieces sound like fun, I hope I have them some day! (but not soon...my oldest nephew is only 13 and oldest niece is 8).

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  3. Very clever to name the little princess Amanita! I have two nieces but they're too old for it now, and have one young nephew. Cute looking book but I may have to wait until I have a young niece again.

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    1. It was such an odd name I felt there had to be a story behind it!

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  4. Epic! I know what I'm getting my neice for Christmas!!!!

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  5. What a cool book! I'll definitely get one for my classroom. O.K. tell the truth, your middle name is Amanita, right? That princess looks surprisingly like you. Hmmm...

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    1. Good idea, perhaps I'll have to change my middle name I never have much liked it.

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  6. How perfect, an inspired way for princesses to see the world from a different point of view.

    Great review, I want to read the book now!

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    1. I wish I could let you borrow my copy. I'm having a hard time thinking about giving it up (as a gift...I mean) as an adult I don't really need to hang on to a children s book, right?

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    2. I think it's a good thing to have some children's books in the house. You just never know when you or a visiting child might need a dose of whimsey.

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  7. Loree, say hello to your new hairdo.

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    1. As tempting as that might be I think the budget required for hair product (to achieve such gravity defying results) would cut into my plant budget!

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  8. Fabulous! I have just the granddaughter for this book. She's a little dangerous herself. Thanks for the recommendation!

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    1. Yay for dangerous granddaughters!

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  9. I adore children's books and see no reason you shouldn't start a collection! The Paper Bag Princess is a fine tale to accompany it....

    In any case, I do have a very young granddaughter who just might eventually enjoy it.

    Thank you for the review!

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    1. I'd never heard of The Paper Bag Princess but after reading an excerpt over on the wiki I have to say that sounds like a fun one! Thank you.

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  10. Sounds perfect for my 8 yo niece. (Which reminds me to send her another timeless anti-princess book, Pippi Longstocking.)

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    1. Oh yay for Pippi! I might just have to look that one up on Netflix.

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  11. Driving through a neighboring city last week I noticed a "Princess Training Academy" (right next door was the "Soul Saving Center"). I bet they don't talk about sharp and pointy things or poison at the academy.

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    1. Wow...what age group is the academy targeting? Are these middle aged princesses with too much time and money?

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    2. I think they were targeting little girls (and their parents).

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  12. When my daughter was little, her favorite book was "Where the Wild Things Are", and her paternal grandparents were convinced it would warp her irretrievably. They were right: she is delightfully twisted. About time a new subversive tome for tots came along.

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    1. Your comment got me to wondering why we (my brothers and I) didn't have a copy of "Where the Wild Things Are" on our bookshelf. Ah ha! It didn't come out until 1988, we a little to old, sadly. What a great book that is.

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  13. Last few days I was looking for exact this information from here to there & finally its on your blog site. I'm really happy with your blog & will share it with my friend.

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  14. Ha! I laughed at the pic of the upside-down Rose bouquet...that is SO YOU!

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    1. Yep. As you can imagine I was rather thrilled at the idea.

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