Fans of The Little Princess series by Tony Ross will be pleased to discover this book about a very popular character now a few years older. The princess’s father the King decides it is high time she knew her ‘proper’ name now she is not so little any more. The court is horrified; her real name is ghastly and the princess is likely to make an awful fuss when she hears it. The court (and the reader!) is reminded of the Little Princess’s tantrums in earlier adventures; when she wouldn’t go to sleep, wanted two birthdays and a baby sister instead of a baby brother. The princess tries to find out her real name but no one in the court will tell her. Everyone, even her annoying little brother seems to be in on this amazing secret.
As the Not-So-Little Princess wonders what her name could possibly be she considers possibilities. Perhaps it might be an endearment like the ones her parents use for each other (yucky!) or the kind of insult children say in the playground (knowing the rhyme about sticks and stones she feels she could deal with that). Talking to members of the court she finds out that names can be a problem, you might end up with a name that sounds funny like Buttercup the maid or hard to live up to like the Admiral who is named after Nelson. When the princess does find out her real name (which is truly ghastly) she is initially horrified just as everyone had predicted, but then she sees a way of making it a much more acceptable name. The princess solves the problem herself showing she really is ‘Not-so-little’ after all.
This is one of a pair of new books launching a series intended as independent reads picking up the story of the Little Princess a few years on. Tony Ross’s illustrations are excellent and the words provided by Wendy Finney cleverly draw on the earlier series.