This picture book fairy tale begins with a haunting quality full of expectation and mystery as we peer behind a flowering hedge to discover the secret kingdom of Lily the little princess. Quickly, the promised magic becomes a quest (for a friend to stem the princess’s loneliness) in the time-honored fashion of a journey where the heroine meets three hopefuls who lead her on to the resolution she desires. So far, so good; but how disappointing that the answer to a maiden’s prayers is a Prince on a charger (albeit not white) who carries her off and marries her! The feminist in me hoped for more.
Truth be told, this story is actually a vehicle for the creator’s wonderful, earthy yet decorative images of nature. Rich in pattern texture and colour, they pull the viewer in with their skilful beauty and make this a satisfying book despite its clichéd theme.