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Princess Alice ISBN: 9780233977461
Bawden, Nina and Gili, Phillida
Published by Deutsch
The Macluskys have a large, untidy family: 'four dogs, seven cats and six children, all in different colours and sizes'. Alice Mary is the third child, and she is very tidy - and black. Her parents were African, her mother died, and she has never seen her father. Alice Mary loves the Macluskys and is especially fond of Mr Maclusky, who always has time to explain things. But one day when she is summoned to London to meet her father for the first time, Mr Maclusky is ill, and she can't ask him all the questions that come to mind. She is astounded to find herself called Princess Alice and to be chauffeured to London. In fact, her father is an African prince, and while kindly, it is apparent he knows nothing of Alice or her family. He asks if she would like to live in Africa and be waited on hand and foot, but she replies in some alarm that she doesn't think Mrs Maclusky could manage without her. She is rather relieved to come back to her untidy home and to a dad who says, 'All my daughters are princesses to me'. The story fits in nicely with the fantasy some adopted children have that their real parents are royal or wealthy and will someday whisk them away from ordinary life. Such fantasies are put into perspective.
Age: 6+