The Princess and Her Panther, by Wendy Orr & Lauren Stringer

One afternoon…
a princess and her panther crossed the desert sand.
The princess was brave, and the panther tried to be.

This charming picture book follows the adventure of the princess and her panther – who are really two sisters spending the night camping out in a backyard tent. As the night is filled with more and more noises, the active imaginations of the pair build a bigger and bigger (and scarier) adventure – until their bravery takes over and banishes their fears.

The illustrations combine the actual scenario of the older sister dressed as a princess and the younger as a panther, with their imaginings, so that as they trek across the real backyard sandpit, they lead an imaginary camel piled high with their camping gear, and so on. The final two spreads show only reality, with the reassuring scene of the sisters settling down peacefully, enjoying their backyard adventure.

A lovely concept, executed brilliantly.

The Princess and Her Panther

The Princess and Her Panther, by Wendy Orr & Lauren Stringer
Allen & Unwin, 2010

This book is available in good bookstores, and online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.