The Princess in the Forest, Hardback

The Princess in the Forest Hardback

3 out of 5 (1 rating)


Spend a day with the Princess and her friends in the forest.

Dew children help to get her dressed, and comb her golden hair.

Little moss children bring her a delicious forest breakfast, then she practises her writing with Mrs Crow, her teacher. Next its playtime! The Princess plays with her animals friends, the deer, hares, squirrels and birds, before telling stories to the mushroom and toadstool children.

Finally, the star children light her way to bed. This is a beautiful story in Sibylle von Olfers' classic decorative style, sure to enchant younger readers.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 24 pages, colour illustrations
  • Publisher: Floris Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Traditional
  • ISBN: 9780863151897



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Sibylle von Olfers, an early twentieth-century German children's artist and author, perhaps best known for her 1906 classic, <u>Etwas von den Wurzelkindern</u> ("Something About the Root Children"), created a number of picture-books featuring her lovely art-nouveau illustrations, and her anthropomorphic depictions of natural forces and processes, from the growth of flowers to the coming of snow. <u>The Princess in the Forest</u>, originally published in 1909 as <u>Prinzeßchen im Walde</u>, is an excellent example, both of its creator's artwork, and of her vision of the natural world. The story of a little princess who is served by various groups of cherub-like beings - the dew maids who bathe her, the moss boys who bring her breakfast - as well as the animals around her - Mrs Crow is her teacher, while the rabbits and deer are her playmates - the book follows its eponymous heroine through her idyllic day, closing as the star folk (cherubs, once again) guide her home, and keep watch as she sleeps.This is a vision both gentle and comforting, one in which the natural world guides and protects the young and innocent, and all elements unite in creating a pleasant world for her. The artwork is likewise gentle and comforting, depicting a world of beauty and order (even in the seeming wilderness of the forest). Nature itself is infantilized, so often appearing (here and in other works) as a troupe of cherub-like children, that it lacks any threatening element. I can't say that this particularly appeals to me - I suppose I require at least an element of danger or sorrow, to truly feel the power of fairy-fare - although I do find it fascinating. I know von Olfers withdrew from the world to become a nun, and would love to read more about her life and philosophies, and how this impacted her work. The artwork is lovely here - the scene in which the princess is guided home by the star folk is my favourite - although the narrative feels a little lacklustre, reading more as a list of occurrences than a proper story. All that said, readers who enjoy original fairy-tales, or artwork in the Art Nouveau style will still find much to ponder here, and it is to them I would recommend <u>The Princess in the Forest</u>.