Ten Big Toes and a Prince’s Nose by Nancy Gow and Illustrated by Stephen Costanza

Ten Big Toes and a Prince's NoseTen Big Toes and a Prince’s Nose by Nancy Gow and illustrated by Stephen Costanza  Ages 2+ (Publisher recommends 4+). Sterling. Oct. 2010. 32 pages.  ISBN: 978-1402763960 $14.95

Why Am I Reviewing this Book?  Because my son and I enjoy reading this book together. It’s fun, it’s easy, it promotes good things.  What’s not to love?

The Short:  The other day in the car he started singing:  “I am what I am and that’s alright with me.  I don’t have to be different, I just have to be.  I don’t want to be somebody else, no sir-ee.  I am what I am and that’s all right with me.”

It took me a moment to remember when he learned this and then I realized it’s from Ten Big Toes and a Prince’s Nose.  Sweet!  I’m more than happy to have him sing songs about liking himself and being himself.  Maybe if he starts now, it’ll be deeply ingrained in him for the rest of his life?  I can hope.  This is a fun book and has a positive self-esteem component that appears to linger with my son.  We recommend this book.  

The Long:  This is a standard fairy tale about a prince and a princess looking for someone to marry.  Guys won’t marry the princess because she has huge feet and ladies won’t even give the prince the time of day because he has a huge nose.  Their respective parents sing the song about being happy with themselves despite their differences and the prince and princess just endure what makes them different.

Then one day the princess and prince are out skiing and they can’t tell that the other one has something different about them because the offending member of their body is covered in skiing gear.  They like each other and just before they kiss, they reveal to each other his huge nose and her huge feet.  They laugh, they’re happy, and of course, he proposes immediately.  It is assumed she says yes, because they, “ride to his castle for crumpets and tea.”  I always cringe when people get married so quickly — and this book is no exception — but it is a fairy tale and that’s what people seem to do in fairy tales.

The illustrations are rich and have a classic feel to them.  Each page is saturated with color.  There’s a great rhythm and rhyme to the words and I like that the prince and princess have something different about them.  I love the vocabulary.  My son now knows that a schnoz is another name for a nose and that humongous is another word for big.  My personal favorite is the song that the parents sing to their children and I love that my son is now singing it to himself.  I had fun making up a tune to go along with the book and while we read this book over and over and over again — neither my son nor I ever got bored.

There’s nothing I feel compelled to edit or change while reading this book to my two-year-old son.  While there are characters who discriminate against the princess and the prince for looking different, it is simply mentioned — not acted out in the book.  I don’t have to worry that my son is going to start making fun of people for having a big nose or large feet after reading this book.

See the trailer for the book with the song on YouTube:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwybF3cYEBM

Where Obtained:  Public Library.  Random grab off the shelf.

FTC Disclosures: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” If you click on the link and purchase the book, I will receive an affiliate commission.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Author/Illustrator Websites:  

Some of My Favorite Reviews of this Book:

kidlitbloghopI’m linking this review up with Kid Lit Blog Hop #7 over at Mother Daughter and Son Book Reviews.  60 other people have contributed this week with great reviews of children’s books and even some author Q & As.  Please also contribute a post to them if you’d like!  I’m always so impressed with the posts I read.


  1. Awww… I love that your son was singing the song from book. I love making up tunes to go with “songs” in books. I did that with Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton and Love you Forever by Robert Munsch. They do remember those songs. Bonus that he’s singing songs about liking himself, he’s subsconsciously (or consciously!) sending himself positive affirmations. That’s gotta be a good thing, right?

    Thanks for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop once again – always nice to see you there! 🙂


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