The thing I love to do most, outside of spending quality time with my completely amazing kid, is read. Books have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I was lucky enough to have a mom that not only read in front of us kids, but also read to us. When I think back my favorite memories of my mom are of her reading to us, whether it was a kid’s book, some activity or a bible story. For years my son could see my joy of reading, but being unable to make the words make sense, he could not join in. Books were still his favorite toys. Sitting in my lap while I read to him, the way my mom had read to me, was just the best activity ever for him.
Eventually with a lot of hard work and the patience of parents, many great teachers and therapists, he leaned to decode the words and a lot more hard work brought him to grade level and beyond. When he couldn’t read for himself he felt it deeply and that is why my third grader decided to start doing book reviews. He would sit in front of his Flipcam with his computer behind him,lit up with a book cover and tell other kids why he thought they should pick up the book we just finished.
As hard work brought his ability to write down his thoughts on par with his ability to read the words, he began writing out his reviews. He still prefers writing them out probably because, unlike with his videos, I don’t make him change into a clean shirt first. He enjoys reviewing books on my blog because it gives him a chance to read and discuss books with me. “It’s a fun thing we can do together.” Yes, I almost teared up when he said that. I will choose to ignore that he also said he would rather read books with me than do homework.
The truth is, if it hadn’t been for children’s authors Like Beverly Cleary, Toni Buzzio, Mary Pope Osborn, Peggy Parish and educational books by various authors released by DK books. My kid may never have found a story strong enough to make him want to overcome his learning disabilities. For this reason, I love it when I find great books for early chapter readers.
Earlier this month Lian and I posted a series spotlight for The Pen Pieyu Adventure series about 9 year old Sir Princess Petra. We weren’t able to review book 1 in the series due to a technical snafu. This was corrected by author Diane Mae Robinson and I am happy to say that we have now read all three books.
I can use all the words one does to describe a children’s book, like charming, delightful, heart-warming and not even scratch the surface. It is obvious that as the series progresses the author has become more comfortable with the story and the simply wonderful characters have begun to take on a life of their own. Still, Sir Princess Petra is a wonderfully solid beginning for the series.
Title/Author: Sir Princess Petra / Diane Mae Robinson
Genre: Children’s Fantasy
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Date of publish: 2011
Recommended Ages: 7-11
Book Links: Amazon/ Goodreads / Barnes & Noble / Riffle
About The Book:
‘I have thought hard and for many passing moons. Jewels, frocks of lace, and princess games have become boring. The thing I want the most…’ Petra hesitated and bit on her lip. ‘I want to be a royal knight.’
Princess Petra’s unusual birthday request sends the 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 an army of the kingdom’s worst enemies.
Will Petra’s kindness and acceptance prove to be more valuable than weapons and armor?
Petra is a nine year old princess who has decided that trappings of princess-hood have become boring and she needs to be challenged a bit. For her birthday, given the choice of anything her heart desires, she chooses to become a royal knight much to the distress of her royal parents. A realm full of royal soldiers have been trying and failing to accomplish one of the official royal deeds that will grant them knighthood. Hoping to avoid eating onions, as most nine year old kids probably would, undaunted Petra chooses the task of hushing the howling dragon, Snarls. What follows are fun adventures that will inspire the imaginations of young readers. In addition to attempting a knighthood deed, she also sets out to secure a royal steed (the only criteria being a steed with four legs), confronts a bully, finds herself faced with having to stop a puny war and along the way she discovers that things aren’t always what they seem to be no matter what the legends or rumors may say.
Lessons of friendship and belief in one’s self are throughout the story and Petra learns that communication is the key to resolving differences. Princess Petra is a role model for kids who don’t quite follow the norm. She is confident in who she is and what she wants. She finds a way to achieve it while being respectful to those who might disapprove.
Next up for Diane Mae Robinson is a grammar book featuring the Pen Pieyu characters and Lian and I can’t wait.
I received a copy of this series in exchange for an honest review. I am grateful to author Diane Mae Robinson for writing such a delightful series and inadvertently inspiring fun ‘mommy’ memories for my son.
This book is about a 9 year old princess who wants to be a knight for her birthday. She goes on great adventures to earn her knighthood, she gets a dragon for her royal steed and dances her way out of a war.
Readability- 4: The story was really great, but the words just didn’t flow together easily in some areas.
Age Appropriate- 5: I would totally recommend this book to kids learning to read chapter books and parents who like to read to their kids.
Illustrations-5: Book 2 and 3 have more intricate artwork, but I liked the pencil sketches in this one a lot. They work really well at showing the story.
Holds Interest-5: I read the synopsis of this book in book 2 before I read this book, so I was worried that it would be boring since I mostly knew the story. Instead it really kept my interest.
Did I like it? – 5: This is a terrific idea for a story and a great beginning for a series that I really enjoyed.
4.8/ 5 stars
About the Author:
For more from the author- Lian Asks: 5 Questions with Diane Mae Robinson
Diane lives in a small hilltop castle nestled among an old and magical forest in central Alberta. This mystical forest is where she finds inspiration to write her fantasy/adventure books for children. The author’s series, The Pen Pieyu Adventures, has won seven international awards and one prestigious provincial award. Diane is also an art teacher and writing instructor. Her next venture is a grammar book for kids.