The Nutmeg Princess


32 pages
ISBN 1-55037-239-4
DDC jC818'.54





Illustrations by Annouchka Galouchko
Reviewed by Anne Hutchings

Anne Hutchings is a public-school teacher and librarian in Ajax,


“Once upon a time on . . . the Isle of Spice,” begins
Keens-Douglas’s fairytale-like narrative. Petite Mama, the eccentric
fruit vendor, tells Aglo and his playmate, Petal, about the “Nutmeg
Princess,” guardian of the nutmeg crop. Determined to see this
beautiful creature (whose existence most people doubt), Aglo and Petal
climb to the princess’s mountain-lake home. A floating bamboo raft is
all that can be seen by the greedy, disbelieving townsfolk. Only Aglo
and Petal, who truly believe, are able to see the beautiful fairy, who
rewards them for their goodness by making them keepers of the nutmeg
trees. Neither the Nutmeg Princess nor Petite Mama have been seen since,
but to this day, nutmeg is the most important crop on that tiny island.

Galouchko’s stunning artwork adds tremendously to the impact of this
book. Looking at her illustrations, one can almost smell and hear the
scents and sounds of the Caribbean island.

With its themes of multiculturalism, friendship, and respect for
elders, among others, this modern folk tale should be a first purchase
for both school and public libraries as well as personal collections.


Keens-Douglas, Richardo., “The Nutmeg Princess,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 12, 2024,