Primrose is an independently minded princess who doesn’t want to be stifled by the seriousness of life at the pretty pink palace where she lives. We find her attempts to have fun very amusing and her Grandmama is one of our new favourite picture book grannies.
The Story: Primrose is bored with life at the palace. She wants to dress up, climb trees and have fun but such behaviour is discouraged and frowned upon. The King and Queen call Grandmama to come and sort Primrose out and Grandmama’s solution surprises everybody – she orders them all to have fun!
Grandmama glides regally into the story with a stern expression on her face and tells everybody that they must do as they are told. But appearances are not always what they seem and throughout the day Grandmama shows the Royal Family that playing board games, baking and digging in the mud are fun. When Grandmama leaves, looking distinctly less stern, she uses a very unregal mode of transport!
Primrose has an easy to read text and dialogue moves the story along. The illustrations are predominately pink, green and yellow, the exception being the page where Grandmama arrives. However the storm clouds, black wallpaper and Grandmama’s haughty demeanour are deceptive and we loved the twist when we realised that Grandmama is not as forbidding as she first appears. At the beginning of the story the characters have fabulously disapproving expressions on their faces when they see what Primrose is doing but once they start to have fun there are lots of smiles and laughter. Grandmama encourages everybody to find their inner child, supports Primrose’s ‘unprincessy’ behaviour and shows them that life doesn’t always have to be serious.
There is lots of humour in the pictures, we love the butler’s fairy wings and the shower cap that Percy, Primrose’s pug, wears in the fountain. There’s even a subplot – romance blossoms between Percy and Grandmama’s cat!
Primrose is a beautifully illustrated, amusing story. We love Grandmama’s solution to the ‘problem’ of Primrose’s behaviour and think this would be a great book to give to a grandmother as a present. We’re keeping it in mind for Mothers’ Day.
Quote from Jessica (age 5) – “I think that Primrose will be much happier now.”
Age Range: 3 +
Author / Illustrator: Alex T. Smith