Playing by the book

Reviews of kids' books and the crazy, fun stuff they inspire us to do

For when you need a pink princess story where they all live happily ever after

Posted on | October 1, 2012 | 6 Comments

Autumn has arrived here, and with it, a beautifully illustrated book to take on our blackberry foraging: Lily the little Princess by Daniela Drescher.

Lily lives an idyllic life, playing with animal friends amongst flowers and nature’s bounty, in her magical kingdom behind a hedge (a hedge just like those where we’ve been picking blackberries). But come winter she is lonely and longs for a friend to play with. Off she sets to find a soul mate, eventually meeting Tristan [yes, really], the Prince of the Forest, and they do indeed live happily ever after.

The story is gentle, all sweetness and light, if not stunningly original. This is a tale for when you want a sugary princess story that fulfils the fantasy that lots of Disney princess stories pander to, without it actually being a Disney story. Sometimes a pink princessy book is just what is wanted, after all.

Whilst this is not the book for you if you’re looking for a fractured tale, or some comment on gender politics, a clever twist or a gutsy female role model, what might make you pick up Lily the little Princess and still enjoy it rather a lot are the romantic, charming and evocative illustrations. Lily’s hedgerow is bursting with berries of all sorts, crab apples, honeysuckle, blossom and butterflies. It simply looks gorgeous; nature’s abundance in all her glory.

If your kids have enjoyed the Flower Fairies then I’m sure they’ll love Lily. And if this book doesn’t get them wanting to get outdoors and explore a hedgerow, then I’ll eat my hat blackberries.

And exploring hedgerows is exactly what we did with this book in mind. We set off with a field guide (just in case we found anything we didn’t recognise, because of course I didn’t want us picking poisonous berries), and collected a selection of goodies.

Once home we sorted them, and then squished some to see what sort of stain they would make and what sort of seeds they contained.

Afterwards we made potions and soups and stews and generally had a very good time.

As we were out and about we didn’t listen to any music whilst gathering our berries, but songs which could go well with Lily the little Princess include:

  • Juicy Berries by Dave Mason and the Masonettes
  • Blackberry Jam by Eric Ode
  • Tomboy in a Princess Dress by Suzi Shelton (as a counterpoint to the book)


  • Other activities which would go well with reading Lily the little Princess include:

  • Creating flower petal stained glass, with this inspiration from the Artful Parent.
  • Making flower petal butterflies, with this tutorial from Scrumdilly-do!
  • Making Hedgerow jam, with this kid-friendly recipe from Nature Detectives.


  • What are your favourite books about nature’s bounty?

    Disclosure: I received a free copy of Lily the little Princess from Floris Books. I was under no obligation to review the books and I received no money for this post.

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    Comments

    6 Responses to “For when you need a pink princess story where they all live happily ever after”

    1. Stacey
      October 1st, 2012 @ 12:52 am

      The colors in your berries are incredible. The joys that nature can bring…
      Stacey recently posted..September Carnival of Children’s Literature

    2. Han
      October 1st, 2012 @ 3:21 am

      Wow! we live in a hot dry climate, so that berry haul is amazing! Yum! You and the river cottage guy are making me wish we had hedgerows here :) The book looks very pretty and sweet – my daughter would love it.

    3. Zoe
      October 1st, 2012 @ 11:17 am

      Thanks Stacey and Han – yes, the colours all together are so gorgeous aren’t they! And we were lucky to have a very crisp blue sky above whilst we were foraging, so it was a lovely day.
      Zoe recently posted..For when you need a pink princess story where they all live happily ever after

    4. Amanda @gidders1
      October 3rd, 2012 @ 11:49 am

      Oh you are a real wonder!!I love this, the book review together with the foraging of berries and the colours. Just brilliant!
      Amanda @gidders1 recently posted..My 300th Post, and An Announcement….

    5. choxbox
      October 3rd, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

      That took me all the way back to a summer day on the Hampstead Heath :)

    6. Zoe
      October 3rd, 2012 @ 5:44 pm

      Thanks Amanda – so lovely to read your comments on my blog for the 1st time :)

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