The Invisible Princess by Faith Ringgold

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Born as a slave, a beautiful princess was made invisible by the Powers of Nature and whisked away by the Prince of Night even before her parents, Mama and Papa Love, could name her. Years pass, and Patience, the blind daughter of the evil plantation owner, Captain Pepper, has a vision of a beautiful black girl playing in the cotton fields. Captain Pepper, recalling the rumor of a slave child who mysteriously vanished, threatens the slaves and vows to harm Mama and Papa Love if the girl is not found. Patience hears his threats and warns the princess, who now makes herself known to her parents to help save them. She tells them of her magical and free life and that now is the time to fulfill the destiny given her by the Great Lady of Peace, who promised that she would one day grow up to bring freedom to the slaves on the plantation. Mama and Papa Love and all the slaves are made invisible, and together with the Invisible Princess they prosper in the Invisible Village of Peace, Freedom, and Love. An original African-American fairy tale set during the time of slavery, this beautiful, astonishing book from Coretta Scott King winner and Caldecott Honor winner Faith Ringgold will prove to be a treasure for years to come.

About Faith Ringgold

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Faith Ringgold was born in Harlem in 1930. She received a degree in art education from the City College of New York and was an art teacher long before she became a professional artist. She is best known for her "painted story quilts," some of which hang in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Tar Beach, RinggoldÕs first book for children, won the Coretta Scott King Award for illustration and was named a Caldecott Honor Book. Ringgold is now a professor of art at the University of California at San Diego. She lives in California and in New Jersey.
Published December 7, 1998 by Crown Books for Young Readers. 32 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Echoes of the title story in Virginia Hamilton's The People Could Fly (1985) reverberate through this original tale of a hidden child of slavery leading her people to freedom.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Invisible Princess

Publishers Weekly

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For this allegory set in slave times, ""Ringgold blends elements of fairy tale and American history in an evocative, if mystifying, picture book,"" said PW.

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Publishers Weekly

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Patience and the Invisible Princess warn the slaves of impending danger, and the Great Lady of Peace and the Great Powers of Nature devise a plan to raise all of Captain Pepper's slaves up into the Invisible Village of Peace, Freedom and Love.

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SF Site

That the story is an allegory might not be a problem, except that the preschoolers this story is aimed at are concrete thinkers, not yet old enough to think symbolically, and will miss the symbolic aspects of the story.

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