The Princess and the Swan by author Ryke Leigh Douglas tells us the story of Wendelyn, a cheerful princess who lives an idyllic life in her father’s kingdom while she waits for her perfect charming prince to appear so that they can lead a happy life together. Her undying yearning for such a fate leads her to take questionable and risky decisions in order to make her fateful love happen as fast as possible. Eventually, the pretty princess goes through big trials to shape her as a true lady and to test the strength of her will.
The story in this book is a heart-warming fairy tale much akin to those of simpler times of after-school afternoons in our childhood – and it brings back those very same feelings of wonder of yore, with fantastical worlds, magical beings, and happy endings. In these days where our children and teenagers are faced with harsher realities than we had in our childhoods, The Princess and the Swan is a balm of spiritual tranquility and a chance of dreaming – both things that kids nowadays have been increasingly deprived of. And it’s not about drenching our kids in illusions – it’s just about telling a story that allows them to be pure and imaginative children, and The Princess and the Swan offers exactly that. The illustrations by Christopher Finn are painted by watercolor and shine on each pair of pages, with their simplicity and variety of colors and shades.
There is another side to this book other than what story it depicts, though. The way in which Mrs. Douglas tells the story shows us that an enjoyable tale can also be a great vehicle to help children in their learning. She is an experienced writer of stories for kids, which is proved by her careful and thoughtful choices of vocabulary and construction of sentences, both aspects aimed at presenting a book for kids and teens that can actually improve their syllabus, reading, and writing skills, as well as teaching words that have been gradually forgotten and ignored by the youth as means to express themselves. Again, these are different times from those in which we were children, and the communication created through the instant speed of internet messaging is done in very basic terms, wherein a single word such as “cool” is used in any and all instances where more elaborate expressions like “incredible”, “superb” and “delightful” could have been used instead. Thus said, The Princess and the Swan is a very enjoyable read for kids, yes, and it is also a great way to have them get in contact with a richer – and 100% safe – vocabulary.
Moreover, I can definitely recommend this book for students of English as a second language, because it is both simple and rich in fine writing. A languages teacher can use this book for ESL classes to a good extent since The Princess and the Swan is filled with class-planning opportunities in its structure.
To sum it up, The Princess and the Swan by Ryke Leigh Douglas is certainly worth your and your kids’ time. Opening its pages was like traveling back to so many gleeful moments of being a child, and I am glad I’m now able to share that experience with my kids through one of Mrs. Douglas’ finest works.
– The Moving Words Review
Worth purchasing the book on Amazon.
About the Author. Ryke Leigh Douglas is a veteran educator devoted to helping children discover the joy of reading and the magic of books. She holds an M.A. as a reading specialist from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. Ms. Douglas strives to provide parents and teachers with entertaining stories that lend themselves to nurturing positive attitudes, good character traits, and creative thinking. When she isn’t writing Ms. Douglas enjoys visiting schools, museums, libraries and early learning centers to share her stories and encourage children to develop their own writing skills with a program she developed entitled The Writer’s Tool Box… Visit her website.