Dear Princess and the Goblin,
I wish I had met you when I was a child scouring the shelves for books about princesses. You brought back the glee of being a young child and finding a book I wanted to wrap myself up in. This is definitely not the last time we will meet.
P.S. Book Details
Author: George MacDonald
Book Length: 241 pages
Series: 1 out of 2
Book Genre: Children, Classic
Publication Date: March 1997
Synopsis: Princess Irene’s discovery of a secret stair leads to a wonderful revelation. At the same time, Curdie overhears a fiendish plot by the goblins. Princess Irene & Curdie must make sense of their separate knowledge & foil the goblins’ schemes.
As a young girl, I always wanted to read about princesses, castles, and royalty. It spoke to a deep desire in me to be special and beautiful and valued. I remember going to the library and typing in the search engine: princess books. Needless to say I was a bit obsessed. Now I am considered a grown woman, but the young girl is still there, looking for books about princesses. I heard about this book from “Tending a Heart of Virtue“, and knew I wanted to get my hands on a copy. I was not disappointed.
Princess Irene is a sweet little girl. She is protected by the whole kingdom and her nanny, which can be bothersome to a girl who simply wants to explore. One day, she is walking and finds a staircase which leads to a tower. In this tower she finds an old woman who claims to be her grandmother. Irene finds comfort and companionship with her grandmother, even if she cannot always find her. There are a lot of interpretations of the grandmother from literary critics. Personally, I enjoyed the mentorship role she played in Irene’s life. Irene learned respect, honor, and wisdom from her grandmother and the experiences which followed.
Curdie is a miner’s boy. He goes into the mines and works hard with his father. Curdie exhibits a lot of qualities I believe promotes healthy masculinity. Curdie is a protector, and investigator, a hardworker, and more. He is a great example of living a life of courage. His life counters Princess Irene’s life in many ways, yet Curdie compliments Irene in many ways. MacDonald did an excellent job creating likable and relatable characters.
The book was rarely dull, there was always something happening. This kept me engaged for the duration of reading. One scene sticks out after a couple weeks from having read it. Princess Irene has this ring, when she was in trouble, she put the ring under her pillow. Then, she was supposed to feel for the string that will lead her back to her grandmother. Her grandmother warns her to follow and trust the string, because it may take an unexpected path, maybe even right into the place she was running from. I love this imagery of trusting, even when we don’t understand. Life has many twists and turns, and sometimes they lead us right to a place we don’t want to be. Showing children (and adults), they don’t have to be afraid of the unexpected feels like a valuable lesson.
“Princess and the Goblin” would be a great read aloud book for the whole family. There truly is something for everyone in the book, and the story unfolds magically. I’m sure I have said this before, but to repeat myself, children’s books are not solely for children. C.S. Lewis said, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys adventure and a fun story, bonus points if you enjoy a book about a princess. Project Gutenberg has free e-book downloads of this book, if you are interested in reading and unable to get a copy.