Monday, March 25, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: Princess April Morning-Glory by Letitia Fairbanks

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This book would be an excellent addition to a child's Easter basket, 
so I've included it on our Easter Baskets Delight Meme! 


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Synopsis: At long last, Princess April Morning-Glory emerges as a lost treasure from the golden age of Hollywood.


Written and illustrated in 1941 by Letitia Fairbanks, the niece of silent film stars Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Mary Pickford, the seemingly traditional children’s book is transformed into a modern-day fairy tale that will captivate child and adult readers alike.

Letitia was inspired to create portraiture for the characters of Princess April Morning-Glory from film stars of the day. John Barrymore, and Letitia’s cousin Douglas Fairbanks Jr., provided glamorous inspiration through their then-current films. The Wicked King’s (Barrymore) costume was sparked by his role as Louis XV in Irving Thalberg’s 1938 Marie Antoinette, while the hairstyle resembles his eponymous role in Archie Mayo’s 1931Svengali. Prince Chivalry was inspired by her cousin’s (Fairbanks) sword-fighting role in David O. Selznick’s 1937 The Prisoner of Zenda.

Viewed as unconventional when it first debuted – up until then, no one had thought to meld a Disney-like moral tale with a swashbuckling adventure – the story centers on the prescient acknowledgment that we create our destinies by the choices that we make.

The main narrative is focused around the brave and courageous Princess April who must first transcend darkness and evil before she can realize her true potential. Intrigued by the Great World and its sense of adventure, a young Princess April decides to abandon the familiarity of her home in Fairyland and undertake a voyage into the unknown. Once outside the Enchanted Forest, she finds comfort and friendship in the company of various creatures who ensure her safe passage.

But returning home proves more difficult than at first she realized. In order to go back to Fairyland, a friendly wizard informs Princess April that she must first accomplish three good deeds. Can Princess April resist the temptation of darker forces and summon enough courage to continue doing good deeds? And if she dares to hold true to herself, will it someday lead her back home again?




Review: Miss Grace grabbed this book almost before I had it out of the envelope and was oohing and aahing over it, so I knew we'd be reading it pretty quickly!

As you can see from the illustrations, the book is very sweet- the illustrations through out the words ad meaning and help young readers decipher the meaning of words, which may be hard to read for them, as they are in calligraphy script, which most young children have not seen or read. I would fit this story into the realm of C.S. Lewis- as it is magical,  moral and thought provoking. 

I made Miss Grace wait for the end of the story, by splitting the book into 2 readings and it was very funny to see her try to look ahead and see what happened! Anticipation still rules! 

This is a LOVELY book and we highly recommend it for Easter baskets and birthday presents!


.Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from Bostick Communications, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it
About the Author: .Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from Bostick Communications, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it , the niece of Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Mary Pickford, lived a life guided by artistic passions. In 1939, wanting to commemorate her late uncle, Letitia began work onPrincess April Morning-Glory, allowing a creative outlet for combining her lifelong loves: painting, writing, and illustration.

Holding firm to her artistic identify, Letitia gravitated toward portraiture, landscapes, and still-lifes. She was also a biographer, co-authoring Douglas Fairbanks: The Fourth Musketeer, with Ralph Hancock. Her marriage to Hal Smoot in 1966 marked the beginning of a particularly joyful and creative period. Needle points and annual Christmas cards, which featured a painting from the previous year, not to mention her role as a wife, mother, step-mother and grandmother brought her much fulfillment. After a life rich in artistic accomplishment, Letitia passed away in September of 1992.


Kelley Smoot Garrett was born in Dallas, raised in Manhattan and has lived the life of a West Texas wildcatter as well that of an IT professional. At one time or another in her life she’s called places as diverse as Scourie, Scotland; Austin, Abilene and Midland, Texas; Singapore; Paris; and Auckland, New Zealand — home. She is proud to be the daughter of Sue Ashby and Harold Smoot, and the step-daughter of Letitia Fairbanks Smoot. She currently lives with her husband Danny Garrett, three cats, and one happy only-dog, Moxie in the Texas Hill Country.

Check out the rest of Book Tour for more reviews!
Friday, March 28 – Book Review at Love Books! Book Reviews
Monday, April 1 - Book Review at Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Tuesday, April 2 – Book Review at Classic Children’s Books
Wednesday, April 3 – Book Review at Deal Sharing Aunt
Thursday, April 4 – Book Review at Books for Kids
Monday, April 8 – Interview at Beyond the Books
Tuesday, April 9 – Book Review at Paperback Princess
Wednesday, April 10 - Interview at The Writer’s Life
Thursday, April 11 – Book Review at Moonlight Lace & Mayhem
Friday, April 12 – Book Review at Coffee and a Keyboard
Monday, April 15 – Interview at Examiner
Tuesday, April 16 – Book Review at My Reading Table
Wednesday, April 17 – Book Review at Vic’s Media Room
Thursday, April 18 – Book Review at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Friday, April 19 – Book Review at Books Books the Magical Fruit
Monday, April 22 - Interview at Divine Caroline
Friday, April 26 – Book Review at 4 the Love of Books


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.Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from Pump Up Your Book blog tours, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you and Miss Grace enjoyed Letitia Fairbanks' "Princess April Morning-Glory"! Glad you were able to split the book up into two readings and it was cute reading how Miss Grace couldn't wait to finish it :-) Miss Grace might enjoy following along with our weekly serialization blog at http://PrincessApril.com/notes Through-out 2013, each Monday we publish the next page in the story, and we write commentary that you might enjoy sharing with Miss Grace. Thanks again for the great review!!

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