A new children’s book called What Makes a Perfect Princess is in fact something that can appeal and apply to people of all ages.
So says author Sharon Asher and illustrator Shirley Shoub, noting that the book has very positive messages about self-acceptance.
The story revolves around a princess who lives in a beautiful castle and is sad because she thinks she is not perfect and has no confidence in herself. The princess believes that she must follow the suggestions of others in order to be perfect. Her three friends tell her everything they think she should do. Even after following all their advice, she still feels badly about herself. Only then does she decide to read the book she’s always had, and there, she discovers her answer – a universal truth - and is finally happy.
The two ladies met about a decade ago. Asher had pretty much written her book and upon discovering that Shoub was an artist, she asked her to handle the illustration. “Sharon actually read the book to me and I immediately felt that I was supposed to do this,” Shoub says. “I was taking art classes in Côte Saint-Luc at the time and I approached my teacher George and asked him to help me illustrate. It took me two years, but I am very pleased with the end results.”
More years passed until Asher and Shoub actually self-published. It can be purchased here on Amazon. In addition, it will be available for loan at local libraries. The CSL Public Library already has a copy and Asher would like to donate to others.
“Children age three and older, as well as the adults reading the story to the children, can look at the illustrations and enjoy them along with the words,” says Shoub. “There are many subtle messages within my illustrations which add further in depth meaning and expansion to complement Sharon’s words. For the artist, whatever we have experienced in life comes through in our art. Likewise, the same applies for the reader’s understanding of the art.
“Years ago, I worked as a social counsellor representing foster children with special needs. Why were they foster children? Sometimes, life hands parents more than they can handle or more than they believe they can handle. Many of these foster children had been left in their infancy in the hospitals for others to handle. It would have required a life commitment for the parents. This is not a judgment call. It requires tremendous love, strength and commitment to nurture these children.To honour these children, I have integrated them into my illustrations.”
Shoub recalls in days when she was a child living near the Main, children played jacks on the sidewalk or rolled marbles into cement holes that they could find. “Hence,” she says, “in the Princess story, I drew two boys playing checkers on the sidewalk in the inner city. Of course, there is a message there. Sharon’s story is about self confidence. It is hoped that those who read it, if they do not already have it, will gain an appreciation of who they are.”
Asher is a lifelong educator. Having received her training at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia), McGill University, MacDonald College and the University of Sherbrooke, she began her teaching career at the elementary and high school levels. Soon thereafter, she joined the English Department at John Abbott College in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, where she taught for 30 years. Her courses focused on the areas of children’s literature, drama as literature, paranormal psychology and literature, and writing.
Bravo for a job well done!