Princess Sophia's Gifts is a story of finding hope and direction after tragic loss. Written as a fairytale, this is a true story. It is:
• a powerful healing story for families
• a training tool for education and health professionals
• a story of inspiration for all ages
Book information: Hardcover * 36 pages * 8" x 10.5"
Distributor: Itasca Books
List price: $16
Stories are life’s note cards. Through story we are able to take a look at previous life experience and reassess it according to current lived experiences. Making sense of what happens to us in life is an intricate reordering and review of previous experiences. Telling stories about experience gives a sense of purpose to life. In the telling of story there is a sense of accomplishment. The story teller is able to see what they were able to endure and this builds the confidence needed to face other life challenges.
Telling stories helps to answer the questions people do not ask, yet want to know even if they do not want to listen to the answers. It is a way to teach the questions that need to be asked. It’s a way to build basic understanding so others have entry into the unknown. It’s a way to ease fear and to address the questions that makes one feel too embarrassed or vulnerable to ask. It’s a way to build bridges between lives. Princess Sophia's gifts is such a story, written to answer questions, to explore and impart insight.
At its essence, Princess Sophia's Gifts is a true story of a family's survival in the wake of personal tragedy. Written as a fairy tale, the story provides a way to examine the gifts or personal strengths within everyone, especially those who are different. When a kingdom's beloved Princess suffers a tragic accident, it underscores the realization that loss can happen to anyone. Princess Sophia chokes on a seed, and her life changes irrevocably. As she hovers somewhere between life and death, the Princess "meets" spirit women who give her special gifts for her return to life as a severely disabled child. Like all families, the Royal family is devastated by Sophia's tragedy. Trying to make sense of it, they journey to find a cure, to restore life to the way it once was. But life will never be the same. In a story of unfolding wisdom, the family discovers that not all questions have answers; and that in loss there is also opportunity for growth and healing.
Princess Sophia's Gifts is the children's picture book that this judge has read this year that has made it all worth it. From its beautiful opening line that grabs you and pulls you in, to its amazing illustrations, this book just works. The length of the story is just right and the pacing perfect. I'll admit that half way through the story, I had no idea where the author was going, but the wrap-up was so perfect that all the pieces came together at once. Reading it was a truly rewarding experience. And the theme that it's not one's talents or deeds that make them special, but rather their spirit and love is so important. Excellent.
I'd love to see this book in school libraries across the nation. It's an important book for kids to read, and it will help them understand children who have been in difficult situation.
Read Sonia's Story, an article published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press about the real princess.
This is a book of beauty, wisdom and spiritual depth. Parents will love it as much as children.
--William J. Doherty, PhD --- Professor, Univ. of Minnesota and author of The Intentional Family
"Princess Sophia's Gifts" is the most moving children's book I have ever read. The beautiful story and gorgeous illustrations come together powerfully in this incredible tribute to a special young woman and her amazing family. It touched my soul. I wish for everyone I love to have the opportunity to enter Princess Sophia's kingdom again and again and again!
--Sue Figg --- Special Education Instructor & Children's Literature Connoisseur
Diane Hovey's tale is as old and as fresh and needed now as all stories of meaning-making have been, are and will be. She reminds readers to not allow fear and regret to define anyone, especially a child, when difficult things occur. Rather, gifts can be found, given and received. Read and be inspired whatever your age!
--Ted Bowman --- Educator / Author / Parent