By Maureen Tai, 2 May 2021
Originally written in 1981, Arnica The Duck Princess (ages 8+) by Hungarian children’s author Ervin Làzàr, is a funny, quirky and fantastical fairy tale about a beautiful princess called Arnica, her carefree suitor called Poor Johnny and her temper-tantrum-throwing (yet wise) father called King Tirunt. There is a tyrannical villain of course, the Witch of a Hundred Faces, who puts a curse on Arnica and Poor Johnny. At any one time, one of them is transformed into a duck while the other remains human! On their quest to seek the help of the Seven-Headed Fairy, Arnica and Poor Johnny meet a rag tag assortment of quirky characters who are all made better off by the encounters. But will the lovers succeed in lifting the curse that threatens their love? And just who are the two narrators of this story who constantly interject with idle musings and random digressions? This charming, uplifting little book is perfect for bedtime reading and perfect for fans of fables and world stories.