Princess Pigsty

written by Cornelia Funke, illustrated by Kerstin Meyer

Tired of being a princess, the youngest of three sisters throws her crown out the window and finds contentment working in the royal kitchen and pigsty.

Isabella is tired of being a princess. “It’s boring! I want to get dirty!” She throws her crown out the window to the dismay of her two older sisters. When she refuses to retrieve it the king orders her to work in the royal kitchen as punishment. When she continues defiance he sends her to work and sleep in the royal pigsty where she gets dirty and stinky and is the happiest she has ever been. She moves to the pigsty but the king really misses her (and admires her spirit) so he comes to see her and they arrive at a happy compromise. My favorite picture is that of the king and the dirty princess walking hand-in-hand back to the castle on the last page.

Occasionally, bold type helps to emphasize words and bring the text to life: "crumbs, scratch, boring, yuckety yuck, pigsty," and, of course, "stink" stand out on the pages. Sketchy cartoon illustrations in exuberant watercolors give just the right amount of exaggeration and reinforce the humor.