I bought The Castle Corona by Sharon Creech only because I missed reading books that are about castles and princesses and kingdoms, and books that start with Once Upon a Time. Or something similar to that. The Castle Corona starts with Once there was a Castle. And it has all the elements I was craving for — princesses, princes, a kingdom, villagers, etc. etc. And what’s great about it too is that there is a table of contents of the chapters, and each chapter has a fun title. I remember, when I was little, before starting to read the actual story of a book, I would read the chapter titles over and over again and try to figure out what the story is all about from that part alone.
As with most children’s books, The Castle Corona is full of lessons. For some reason, the one that struck me the most was the part where the Queen decided to visit the village unannounced to give out food, expecting the villagers to be happy and grateful, but instead she received an unanticipated kind of welcome — the villagers did not smile, they were frightened, some hid, and the Queen thought they were rude. In the end, the Queen realized, with the help of her personal hermit, “how foolish she must have looked, high on her white horse, bestowing food: the rich woman showering trifles on the poor peasants.” There is more to that, but I cannot explain anymore, and you have to read it to know more about it!
The two main characters are Pia and Enzo, peasants whose lives were about to transform. But my favorite character is the Wordsmith. He was like the television, the entertainment. His job is to tell the royal family a story, with elements that each person in the room would prefer to be included. So if the elements given by each person are a princess, a prince, a knight, a dragon, and a cabbage, rest assured the Wordsmith would be able to concoct a story with all of those in there! I am in love.
If you like children’s books, Long ago and faraways, life lessons, and a few illustrations, then look no further than The Castle Corona!
I wish I’ve read this: sitting cross-legged on a stone bench surrounded by trees and with lots of sunlight!
The Castle Corona by Sharon Creech was published in 2007.