The third in a fantasy series about girl empowerment, Sir Princess Petra’s Mission by Diane Robinson reveals what’s most important life. Sometimes that isn’t even being a knight, even if that’s always been your dream, but instead it’s about doing what’s right and honorable. Readers familiar with the tales will be happy to hear that Bograts the Bog Witch and Snarls the Dragon are still with Petra. And for those new to the series, this chapter book has many positive qualities such as brevity and humor that are bound to entice even the most reluctant readers.
Princess Petra give up her knighthood? Whatever would she do this for? Especially after, as fans will know, she worked so hard to earn and keep it. Well, as faithful readers will also know, Petra’s royal parents are always trying to foil their daughter and trick her into taking on traditional feminine roles. And this time it seems they may have succeeded. Not however because Petra is incapable of fulfilling their request. Her parents have dictated that she “venture into the unventured land of the Boogy Gobees alone, and capture the first notorious-fabled car-panther she encounters” and capture him. Being the resourceful female that she is, Princess Petra does just this. However, she also discovers something surprising about the car-panthers, which makes her realize how wrong it would be for her to capture a car-panther. Yet not doing so means the princess has only one other choice: return to the kingdom empty-handed and give up her knighthood. The whole series to date has held strong moral values, and this latest is a stellar example of this.
Another favorable quality of this Canadian series can be summarized in a single word: CUTE! Robinson’s characters have a blend of seriousness and good-heartedness, which endears them to me. While Princess Petra always stands up for herself, she never borders on the sullen, obnoxious, or even rebellious attitude that sours some characters. The accident-prone, Snarls the Dragon, can at one moment destroy a throne with an unintentional blast from his nostrils, but in another moment hone his inherent tales to help the Car-Panthers build better homes without destroying trees. And finally the royal parents can dream up sobering rules and yet look the other way at food fights. In addition to the cute characters, Robinson’s animated style also makes for a light read. Kings grin, books skid, princesses scurry, and witches fret. The Kingdom of Pen Pieyu is a happening place, which makes for an active and energetic read.
Unfortunately, like most everything else, cute can be overdone. Some of the scenes felt frenetic for no reason. Someone would drop something, fire would shoot off from somewhere, and so and so on, without any valid reason except I suppose an attempt at humor. On a similar note, as Princess Petra heads off to find the Car-Panthers, there’s a descriptive passage about swamps, bogs, and moss. Besides having the purpose of informing readers that something was amiss, the passage also provided one of the quieter moments in the book. I could have used a few more of these lulls. Finally, at times, I tired of the non-stop reliance on action verbs. Some sentences that made use of the simple word “said” would not have gone amiss.
Many awards have been bestowed on Diane Robinson’s Pen Pieyu Adventures Series. I’m delighted for this opportunity to feature Robinson’s third chapter book here at Allison’s Book Bag as part of a virtual tour. Sir Princess Petra’s Mission, although a little sillier than earlier titles, should both inspire and invoke giggles from its young readers.
My rating? Read it: Borrow from your library or a friend. It’s worth your time.
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