Reviewed by Timea Barabas
Several things make a children’s book iconic, like addressing pressing social issues, speaking to adults and children alike, and the test of time. The only box that “The Extraordinarily Ordinary Life of Prince: Everybody’s Good at Something” has left to tick is the test of time. Freshly out of the press, Prince A. Sanders’ book continues building a magically creative universe. Purchase Here.
This is the second piece of a puzzle that reflects the author’s childhood. The series is infused with a strongly personal note that immediately disarms the reader, leaving them open to the full magnitude of the experience. The short book is more than just a read; it is an experience of how the world of adults and children intersect.
Seven-year-old Prince is at an age driven by exploration. He spends many recesses chasing after the secrets and wonders of nature. It soon dawns on his classmates that Prince does not follow the script. While his older brother is a star athlete at the school, Prince fails to prevail at sports and live up to his brother’s reputation. Shortly, Prince starts feeling more of an outsider and, worst of all, a stranger to himself.
Prince grows to accept that his path is different from his brother’s and what others might expect of him. But he is yet unaware of where his own path will take him. The road ahead is cleared when he least expects it, at a ballet performance. When the whole family goes to watch a show, Prince becomes entranced by the organic movements of the performers and longs to be part of the magical universe.
While the path may be visible to him, not everybody shares his view. It is common for parents and other adults to build up certain expectations and lay out a life course for children. Yet, when they make their own decisions, it is essential to respect their validity and offer support to fulfill their dreams. The truth that Prince lays out in front of us is that one may see their own path clearer than anyone else. However, societal expectations and norms may cast a shadow, threatening the fulfillment of one’s dream and destiny.
The images that bring vibrant colors to the pages of the book deserve a special mention. The artist takes vivid snapshots of some of the more crucial moments in the life of Prince. It is certainly worth stopping at each picture to take in the events depicted. True to the mark of a genuine artist, these depictions don’t act as a distraction in the storyline but rather build on it, adding a new fun dimension.
Just like the previous book, “The Extraordinarily Ordinary Life of Prince: Everybody’s Good at Something” is accessible to early readers (ages 6 to 8) but it can be read to children of all ages. In fact, parents or any adults who are immersed in the world of children somehow could benefit from this moving story told by Prince A. Sanders. It is a wonderful tale that can inspire children to follow their dreams and adults to shelter the often-fragile dreams of childhood.