Princess Natoree and the Tree Climber.
Princess Natoree and the Tree Climber
J. B. Dabo, author/illustrator
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781481272827, $9.95, www.CreateSpace.com
"Princess Natoree and the Tree Climber" is a fairytale about overcoming limitations and restrictions for modern readers ages 5-11. Princess Natoree is the beloved royal daughter of Queen Emma and King Oska of the kingdom of Naja. Although Princess Natoree is beloved by both parents, they disagree regarding her choice of playmates. The king wishes to always keep Natoree safe and protected, and he does not approve of some of her favorite playmates because of such things as appearance, or possible differences such as handicaps. On the other hand, Queen Emma wishes her daughter to enjoy playing with many different companions, and also to choose the boy she will eventually marry. Princess Natoree tries her best to reassure her father, and listens to her mother who advises her, "Always look for the happy moments in each day." A contest is engineered by King Oska to choose the best candidate to be Natoree's prince. He will choose the boy who can climb a very tall palm tree, planted when Natoree was born, to the very top. Natoree wishes to get to know all the boys and make her own choice, but King Oska is determined his way is better to protect her future. One applicant for prince position is a former playmate named Matura, who used a crutch to walk because his left leg was not strong. Against King Oska's preference, but with Natoree's full support, Matura enters the contest and gives his best effort, eventually succeeding in climbing the tall palm tree all the way to the top. He is cheered, and Natoree says," I knew he would succeed. He is strong inside, and he never gives up." Thus everyone found a happy resolution, and Matura was selected to become trained to be Natoree's prince. The encouraging message of "Princess Natoree and the Tree Climber" is never despair or give in to restrictions, but always do your best. Plus there is an additional idea, that perhaps one should not judge others by their outward appearance. These inspiring ideas are perfectly represented in the stylized, detailed, poignant, colored illustrations of the fantasy world of Naja.