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© 2016 Celeste Buckingham

If you are looking for a gift for a young person (ages 5-12) it is best to give a gift that provides fun and purpose at the same time. A really pleasurable book full of exciting adventures, easy to read which not only teaches the child or young person the English language, but also encourages them to look at some of the best human values such as friendship, loyalty, love of family, dedication, sacrifice, generosity and much more. 

 

The Lost Princess - Stratena Prinzesna  is a fairytale written for children by children. It was written by the singers/songwriters Celeste Buckingham and Carmel Buckingham when they were at ages 11 and 8 repectively. The book is a portrayal of things that matter in the life of a young person and how they see the world of the adults, all truned into a fantastic fairytale adventure. 

 

the book has 256 pages and is in two languages of English and Slovak. it is a great way for older children to improve their English during the holidays. Young children would enjoy their parents and grandparents read them the story and perhaps take English phrases and names of the English original.

 

This book makes a perfect Christmas gift for a young person, it will entertain the young reader during the holidays and free time, it will help develop his or her English language skills while it provides a safe ground to examine the exercise of good virtues and development of good character

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lost Princess is a gripping tale of familial loyalty, friendship, and adventure that appeals to children of all ages. The story emphasizes the power of honesty, the value of shrewdness, and the importance of love, all through the journey of the lost princess Blossom and the friends she meets along her way. 

The story touches on topics of diversity, acceptance, strength, and fairness, in a gentle and meaningful way that children can understand. As Blossom and her fellow characters grow and learn throughout their adventure, so does the reader, through exciting lessons in fantasy that bear a natural resemblance to situations in real life. 

The real power of the book is that it was indeed written by children for children, and that in itself is enough to make it worth a second - or third, or fourth - look. Sisters Celeste and Carmel Buckingham created this story at ages eleven and eight, respectively, and perhaps we will see further installments that the girls have written, the stories growing along with the sisters.

 

To Celeste and Carmel, now ages twenty-one and eighteen, the story marks a significant time in their life, when they decided that their love for creativity and writing could be more than just a hobby or a pastime. Currently both pursuing musical careers, the sisters credit the release of their children's book as the starting point of their creative journeys, and it can perhaps be said that their music would not even exist had they not been encouraged at a young age to pursue their passion for writing and creating.

Celeste Buckingham:

A Short Review of Fairytales

 

 

There is no doubt that fairytales have accompanied the lives of many generations before us and continue to fill the lives of our children and of future generations. The stereotypical original fairytale often comes with a message that either shows how disregarding common contemporary moral standards leads to a tragic end, or how acting in accordance with morality and ‘goodness’ leads to a happy end, and all the while these motives are wrapped around the lives of the princes, princesses and heroes of the stories in question. 

 

Although fairy tales have existed for a long time, the modern characterization as is known to us today, started to take shape in the Victorian Era, all to provide only the most positive and uncomplicated image to children and to adults. These characters occurred frequently, and among the most popular were the prince and princess. The prince was and is depicted as handsome, possessing every physical perfection, brave and witty, quick, charming and emotionally empathetic. The Princess in the typical fairytale is often perfectly good, innocent, and beautiful, practically a saint with a royal title. She is shy and demure, and too delicate that she cannot or does not lift a finger to defend herself. She is entirely dependent on the hero of the story to come to her aid. This again is based in many centuries of a woman’s position in society, with regards to her status as opposed to a man. Even in the early stages of written fairytales, a woman’s position was always one of the delicate and helpless, whether a member of royalty or of the serfdom. 

 

A somewhat adapted version of the traditional fairytale is the so-called “Disneyfied” fairytale, which is a popular version based on the events of their dates of release and a heavy dose of what popular entertainment culture dictates.

 

Disney princesses often represent cultural anxieties or attitudes at the time of their release into mainstream media via the film in question. The 1930s was the decade in which Walt Disney unveiled Snow White, the very first Disney princess. She represented a prevailing idealized view of women from that period – that they should be demure and passive. In fact most of the classic early heroines, including Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, are seen as the least feminist defining Disney princesses because they depend on a prince charming and are ineffective in defending themselves, their position or their other attributes.

 

After Sleeping Beauty in 1959, there wasn’t another Disney princess for 30 years, by which time women had started to take a stronger stand in society, be it in the social political sphere, or as consumers of all markets, including the entertainment industry. 

 

The new era of Disney princess that followed incorporated this new social accepted point of view of women in the world, while still retaining certain traditional traits of the past stories. For instance, The Little Mermaid’s Ariel shows some degree of independence by choosing to follow her dream of living amongst men, however this independence is portrayed in a somewhat questionable manner as she does go on to give up her voice to get the man of her dreams, but in doing so neglects her responsibility to her family and community and puts her kingdom in danger and their fate at the hands of a witch. Again, in this situation, the woman is independent, but only when it comes to searching for love. 

 

Not intending for this to become a detail analysis of disney’s production, perhaps a quick run through further princesses such as Pocahontas; a character that isn’t as defined by romantic relationships and was brought to animation in 1995 after the rights of Native Americans were strengthened in the two decades from the mid-1970s by legislation protecting tribal rights and interests. She was Disney’s first Native American princess and is considered to be one of the most independent Disney princesses ever created (although there is criticism for its over-sexualized representation of Native American women and for it’s inaccurate representation of the period in question as well as the true nature of the relationship between Pocahontas and John Smith.)

 

Pocahontas was followed by Mulan In 1998, another emboldened princess, who was far from demure, becomes the hero of her own story, even appearing on the battlefield in full body armor (disguised as a man going to war instead of her father) and by the long awaited first African-American princess Tiana in 2009, whose aspirations were rather different from the princesses that came before. “Her dream isn’t to have her prince and rule her kingdom, her dream is to open a restaurant.” Being an entrepreneur is definitely a modern aspiration for a Disney princess. 

 

It is obvious that with changing of society and its values the idealism that is the characteristic of the traditional fairytale princes and princesses are no longer credible and can be taken seriously. And yet, the symbol of the fairytale princess as the embodiment of all good and perfection seem to be soothing to our children. Perhaps they should be writing their own fairytales, because while they are building their stories based on strong and handsome princes and beautiful and kind princesses, developing their creativity and imagination, they will be integrating the issues and values related to their present lives, thoughts, feelings, hopes, fears and environment into the lives of these characters.  It is perhaps an excellent step towards independent thinking and creativity when children depend on their own imagination as well as their own take on life, feelings and environment rather than relying on the Entertainment industry to set the stage for them.

 

Our book, The Lost Princess, aspires to be such a tale. When I, then aged 11 and my then-8 year-old sister Carmel, wrote that story, we were creating it with all that we knew to be important to us, things that we loved, things that we feared, things that we wished to happen, with thoughts about people that we met and who made impressions on us, those who were kind to us and those who needed kindness, and those who seemed to be unkind, places that we had visited,  and all the places we had yet to see. We wanted to be the heroes of our own story regardless of gender, race or age. We wrapped all of these thoughts and aspirations in the form of the fairytale that became “The Lost Princess”.