I believe we have to make this official; Bookwitch loves Hilary McKay. You know, in a pure, innocent kind of way.
I also need to have a shorter way of saying ‘this isn’t a book I would generally have picked up.’ (I’ll work on that. Acronyms on a postcard if you’re feeling clever.)
Practically Perfect is a princess book, clearly aimed at younger girls than me. (It says 7-9 on Hilary’s website.) But if it keeps the attention of someone elderly, it’s doing a pretty good job.
This is both a typical princess book, and it isn’t. To start with the princess is a Queen. She is ten years old. She is willful, but quite nice. She has Ladies-in-Waiting. And a Cook, and a Prime Minister. A Donkey. A best friend who likes to dig.
Practically Perfect begins with a poet who lives in the cupboard under the stairs, and ends with a happily ever after. That bit was never in doubt, but you couldn’t be sure of the way there. I mean, who’d dream up buttered cooks?
I loved it! I wasn’t expecting to get started on Hilary’s younger fiction, but there might be no stopping me now. Anyone who can get away with double brackets has my vote.