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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Abigail was the very beautiful Queen of Natronia. But she hadn’t always been beautiful. Like the story of the ugly duckling, Abigail was hideous at birth and throughout her childhood she was teased, tormented and bullied by her peers. She was so ashamed of her looks that whenever she left the house, she wore a sack over her head. She couldn’t even look in the mirror for fear of her own hideous looks.
Beauty, however, is only skin deep. True beauty comes from deep within.
Abigail discovered she had a gift for storytelling. She started writing marvelous fairy tales. The villagers soon caught on to these wonderful stories, but didn’t know it was Abigail who was writing them. And the intrigue thickens. For, as with any good fairy tale, there has to be a handsome prince in the story. Prince Phillip was this handsome prince. When he discovered these wonderful stories, he made it his mission to find the author, for he was already in love with the beautiful soul that could write such incredible stories.
Darrell Case’s picture book story, Abigail, Queen of Natronia, is a delightful tale, full of many important lessons for young readers. The most important lesson is that beauty, true beauty, comes from inside a person, not from how the person looks. There are also lessons on bullying and not judging others by their differences. This fairy tale about a young woman, who is a writer of fairy tales, is a story within a story, and will certainly delight readers both young and old. With simple language, colorful illustrations and a marvellous plot, this story is, in itself, beautiful both inside and out.