Pia and Enzio have spent their short life dreaming of escaping from their cruel mater Pangini. If only they could be a princess and a prince living in a castle. Then their worries would vanish. Their hopes soar when they find a pouch that clearly contains something taken from the Castle Corona. They know they should return it, but surely there is no harm in holding onto the pouch for just a little while?
Meanwhile, the members of the royal family at the castle have concerns of their own. King Guido feels the weight of ruling his kingdom. Prince Gianni, heir to the throne, is more inclined to write poetry than to govern. Princess Fabrizia suffers from the boredom of a truly spoiled little girl. Young Prince Vito desperately needs an outlet for his competitive spirit. And, finally, Queen Gabriella searches for a purpose in her life beyond the superficial, comfortable existence of a noblewoman.
None of these characters expect that their lives will become intricately entwined. However, when a gross miscommunication leads the castle guards to think that a thief is on the loose, the royal family’s security is turned upside-down. With the advice of King Guido’s personal hermit and the stories of the castle Wordsmith, the royal family not only meets Pia and Enzio, but they discover the call to look beyond their own personal whims for true happiness.
With humor and just enough intrigue, Sharon Creech brings to life the reality that fulfillment comes from focusing on the needs of others. When the members of the royal family learn to stop thinking about themselves, they discover that they each have the qualities needed to meet the challenges of their state in life. A delightful fable, The Castle Corona teaches without preaching, while David Diaz’s illuminations add to the book’s charm and appeal.
Jennifer Minicus is a mother and teacher living in Ridgewood, NJ.