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Sir Princess Petra

by Diane Mae Robinson (Tate Publishing, Mustang, Oklahoma, 2011, 64 pages)

Book Review by Dennis Moore

Diane Robinson, who lives in a small hilltop castle near St. Paul, Alberta, in Canada, has written a whimsical children’s tale of a forest inhabited by gnomes, fairies, a princess, and a dragon; Sir Princess Petra. It is a tale that is sure to delight both adults and children alike. With the approach of her 9th birthday, Princess Petra wanted something that according to royal custom was for her to have anything that her heart desired. As jewels, frocks of lace, and princess games had become boring to her, she told her father, the King of Pieyu, King Longstride, that she wanted to be a royal Knight. Of course, this was uncommon for a girl to become a royal knight, but according to royal custom she was to have anything her heart desired. The King tried to dissuade his daughter by stating: “To become a Knight of my kingdom you must choose an act of bravery from the royal list of deeds,” proclaimed the king. “The choices are: to capture a crocodile and make his skin into a royal leather chair; to hush that howling, nasty dragon, Snarls, in the Forest of Doom; or to eat a roomful of raw onions.”
Princess Petra’s unusual birthday request sends the royal court into a frenzy, but when she agrees to undertake a knight’s quest they can’t stop her. Armed with a cake knife and outfitted in the best royal pots and pans, Petra sets off to face a dragon and win her real armor before encountering a bog witch, and, and an army of the kingdom’s worst enemies. She befriends them all and returns to her father’s kingdom triumphantly, along with these characters, and ready to be bestowed with all the trappings of being a royal knight.
     This warm and enchanting tale of a child’s innocence and determination is worthy of a story to be told by parents and grandparents to their children, and it is a book that I highly recommend. This is a tale spun by Robinson full of quirky characters and surprising plots that will delight both adults and children alike, and keep listeners being told the story in rapt attention.

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Dennis Moore is a writer and book reviewer with the East County Magazine in San Diego and the book review editor for SDWriteway, an online newsletter for writers in San Diego. He is also one of the hosts of the “East County Magazine Live!” radio show for their book segment. Mr. Moore is also the author of a book about Chicago politics; “The City That Works: Power, Politics and Corruption in Chicago.” He can be contacted at contractsagency@gmail.com or you can follow him on Twitter at: @DennisMoore8.