Name of Book: Princess Furball
Author: Charlotte Huck
Audience: Ages 4-8
Summary: To escape marriage to an Ogre, the daughter of a cruel king conceives a clever plan. Her plan fails, but leaves her with the tools to attain her ultimate happiness. This Cornwall variation on the Cinderella tale contains no fairy godmother or magic wand—just a girl who relies on her own ingenuity and spunk.
Literary elements at work in the story: Huck’s telling is smooth and graceful and Lobel’s illustrations complement the middle-European setting.
How does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability make a difference to the story: This tale is unlike most cinderella variations. This variation comes from Cornwall England where life is hard and survival only comes by being resourceful. Princess Furball has what it takes to live in this harsh environment. She relies on her own abilities and ingenuity, and although she does marry the prince, she does so not because she is beautiful and helpless, but because she is smart and resourceful. Note, there is a bit of “magic” in that her dresses and ring are kept in a walnut shells, but the walnut shells are only a suitcase of sorts, not true magic.
Scripture: Genesis: 37: 12-28; 41: 1-28
Theology: Often in life things are not what they seem to be. When Joseph was sold by his brothers, he must have felt his life was doomed. The princess had similar feelings when her plan failed and she wound up a servant. Life seemed so bleak for both the princess and Joseph that they could easily have given up. But they didn’t. They used the talents and gifts they had been given to overcome their adversity. God has given us gifts to help us in life. Use and rely on those gifts. Don’t fall prey to the latest self-help fad. Be like Joseph and Princess Furball. Trust in God and you will be able to see past your adversity and into the light.
Faith Talk Questions:
- What would you do if you were Joseph or the Princess?
- How did Joseph use his talents to overcome his troubles?
- How did the Princess use her talents to overcome her troubles?
- What talent did both of them have?
- What talents do you have?
- Where did your talents come from?
- How can you use them to help you and others?
Review prepared by regular contributor Janet Lloyd
Princess Furball by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.