I loved reading fairy tales as a child—or better yet, having them read to me—and now my daughter loves them too! The adventures of those beleaguered princesses, so often the youngest, most beautiful, and least appreciated, were magical. Fairy tales tell us who we are and how to live. That’s why they are so powerful. It’s not often that a brand-new tale appears in the world. So imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered . . . Penelope!
Sprung from the brilliantly original brain of Leslie Caveny, Penelope appeared on my desk one fine spring day. I loved the story from the moment I read it, and Penelope came to life in my imagination long before she stepped on-screen.
There are so many things I love about Penelope: a terrific plot, great characters, a beautiful world. But most of all, I love the message. Penelope is the inspiring story of a girl who is told by the people closest to her that she isn’t good enough. Born with the face of a pig due to an ancient curse that had nothing to do with her, Penelope is kept hidden away in her parents’ house and is taught to wait—to wait until her prince comes along and rescues her, to wait until she is pretty enough to go out into the world, to wait for her life to begin.
Eventually, Penelope gets tired of waiting and takes things into her own hands. Breaking free from her family, she heads out into the world to experience life on her own terms, finding friendship, adventure, and fun along the way. Penelope ultimately learns that she is pretty great the way she is, and it is that confidence and self-acceptance that prove to be life changing.
I’ve been all over the world and met so many people, and I’ve come to discover that each and every one of us has insecurities. Young or old, short or tall, we all have something we wish we could change about ourselves. Sometimes we let those insecurities define who we are and get in the way of all the great things we could accomplish. Penelope teaches us to rise above our fears, to embrace the things that make us unique, and to celebrate our individuality. She faces the world with fearlessness and wonder.
I hope this story inspires you to try to be a little more like Penelope, and to learn to love what is truly unique about yourself.
Enjoy the book!
Copyright © 2007 by Penelope Productions, LLC. Introduction copyright © 2007 by Reese Witherspoon. All rights reserved.