Picture Book Review – Prince Charmless – Jeanne Willis (Author) & Tony Ross (Illustrator)
Recommended for – Toddlers, Younger Readers
From the front cover, it’s easy to confuse this with a Little Princess story – it’s illustrated by Tony Ross, who writes those stories, and it’s about a young member of the royal family, but this is actually by legendary children’s author Jeanne Willis, and it’s well worth checking out if you like the Little Princess stories.
Prince Charmless has never been satisfied – he always wants something more, demanding change from morning to night, until one day everybody gets fed up and leaves him to his own devices. Can the spoilt brat of a Prince learn that sometimes doing things himself can give him everything he wants?
I’ve always like a story where you can sum up the moral at the end to your children (without being too preachy of course), and this is a great example – the Prince is horrible until being forced to do things himself and learning that if he makes the effort himself then he won’t have to rely on other people who might get it wrong. The quirky illustrations of Tony Ross help to illustrate both Prince Charmless’ ire and satisfaction perfectly, just as they do in the Little Princess stories, and clearly Willis and Ross are perfectly suited to work together.
Another great story from two giants of the picture book genre.