The Nutmeg Princess by Richardo Keens-Douglas
|June 10, 2014||Posted by Darlene Tobin under Children's Lit, Fantasy, Lore, Multicultural|
Aglo and Petal love to spend their days together, whether it be swimming, reading a book, or just simply enjoying each other’s company. After chatting with Petite Mamma (a friendly old woman who lives on the mountain and grows fruit and nutmeg that she sells to the villagers), Aglo and Petal were told the story of the Nutmeg Princess — a mysterious princess, who has been seen floating on a bamboo raft in the lake behind the nutmeg trees, wearing a beautiful pale blue gown and her hair laden with dew drops that sparkled like diamonds. But she only appeared when the nutmeg was ready to be picked. Both children found this hard to believe, so Petite Mama told them to get up bright and early in the morning – after they hear the first cock crow – and climb the mountain until they reach the lake. Then they should sit on the big stone by the lake and watch. The children did as they were told; however, only Aglo was able to see her. Petal could not understand how Aglo could see her and she could not. They went back to the village where they told their story to the other villagers. One by one they scurried up the mountain and to the lake in search of the princess with the diamond hair. Aglo screamed out when he saw her and the villagers jumped in the water in hopes that the diamonds were on her raft. The nutmeg princess was saddened at the sight before her because the people only cared about riches and nothing more. She signalled for Aglo and Petal to swim to the raft, but Aglo responded that he could not swim. Petal then signalled for him to jump in the old boat next to them. When they got out so far in the water, the boat started to leak and it was sinking quickly so Petal helped Aglo get to the safety of the raft. But whenever the villagers got close to the raft, it would drift out of reach. Finally tired and exhausted, the villagers swam back to shore. Suddenly the nutmeg princess shook her head and the raft and lake became scattered with diamonds. When one of the diamonds landed on Petal’s forehead, she was finally able to see her. The Nutmeg Princess told Petal how brave and kind she was to bring her friend to safety and that she should bring her caring nature out in to the world. The Nutmeg Princess then disappeared. Oddly enough, when Aglo and Petal reached the bottom of the mountain Petite Mama was nowhere to be found again!
An inspiring tale that conveys the true meaning of friendship and courage, while at the same time instilling in its readers the significance of these valuable morals. The fascinating illustrations bring the story alive with bursting colors. The Nutmeg Princess is a marvellous read for children of all ages.
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