The Rapping Princess


Princess Shiloh is nothing like her sisters. Not only can Shaya scat and hum ‘to every beat’ but Sade has a ‘sweet soprano’ while ‘Adanna belts songs and she wants to sing along’. However, it seems that Shiloh is ‘just not meant to sing’. 

Although the doctor says there are no ‘blocks‘ to her singing, while ‘the best vocal coach’ suggests that ‘talent can’t be taught’. What is Princess Shiloh to do? Being a princess is a ‘tough job‘ anyways, but this is a problem that she is unable to solve.

Might it be, however, that the impulses she feels at the sounds of visiting princes battling to see who might rap best, offer an answer? Could it be that her ‘dip, flip and rhyme‘ is so ‘sublime‘ as to mean that Princess Shiloh ‘should stick to rapping’. It seems that every time she practises, Shiloh wants to practise more! She does love ‘to freestyle over a handmade beat, unleashing lyrics to the tapping of her feet’. 

Hannah Lee delighted us with My Hair. Yet again she has created a story of immediacy, hope and inspiration. Furthermore, Allen Fatimaharan’s pictures are brilliant, direct and so alive with action and meaning.

Bookwagon loves The Rapping Princess. We suggest that this picture book is perfect for bedtime reading, reciting, sharing and thereafter enjoying in school, too.

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The  Rapping Princess

Hannah Lee and Allen Fatimaharan

(Faber & Faber)

How can Shiloh find her voice? Is it possible that she might be The Rapping Princess? While ‘Adanna belts songs‘ and there’s ‘Thandie’s tender notes‘, it seems that Shiloh’s sent to the doctor! Thereafter the doctor can find ‘no major blocks’ to her voice box. So why can she not share ‘Shanique’s voice- a soulful treat‘, or ‘Sade’s sweet soprano‘ or even ‘Kenya’s cool contralto’?
It seems that Shiloh is intrigued by the visiting princes who compete to see who might ‘rap best‘. Could it be Prince Rakim or even Prince Dante or Prince Shaheed? What if her ‘better stuff‘ might inspired them with her ‘dips, flips and rhymes’? Yet, is it enough? Could it be that, as her magic mirror suggests, her ‘voice is unique- rapping divine’. Might her talent be scaring her, in truth? It isn’t easy to have your own, individual beat, after all…
Hannah Lee who inspired us with My Hair returns with a soaring picture book with such an inspiring beat. Thereafter, she collaborates with Allen Fatimaharan whose brilliant colours, elongations and pulsing pictures prove delightful.
While The Rapping Princess sees Shiloh finding her voice, it is also an encouragement to every reader to hear and follow their own, unique beat. Bookwagon loves this motivational picture book!


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