Arnica, the Duck Princess (Hardcover)

By ERVIN LAZAR, Anna Bentley (Translated by), Jacqueline Molnar (Illustrator)

Pushkin Children's Books, 9781782692201, 96pp.

Publication Date: August 13, 2019

List Price: 16.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A hilarious Hungarian classic children's story about true love, friendship and what happens when a witch turns your fiancée into a duck.

Princess Arnica is so sweet and gentle that when she smiles even wolves and bears forget their fierceness. Everyone loves her, but she loves only Poor Johnny. Luckily, he loves her too, and even more luckily she has a very sensible king for a father, who is happy for her to marry whomever her heart desires. So, no problems then?

Well, maybe just one - The Witch with a Hundred Faces has cast a spell on Arnica and Johnny which means that one of them, at any one time, must always be a duck, and the other human! Who can help them? Only the Seven-headed Fairy. Will they be able to find her? You'll just have to read the book and find out!

About the Author

Ervin Lázár (1936-2006) was an award-winning and much-loved Hungarian children's author. Among other prizes, he won the 1982 Hans Christian Andersen prize, and the IBBY Book of the Year on three occasions. His stories for children have been translated into many languages, but Arnica, the Duck Princess is the first to appear in English.

Praise For Arnica, the Duck Princess

"Charming and funny, a minor classic … Quirky and philosophical, this is a fabulous read-aloud for children ages 6-11." — Wall Street Journal

"Here’s something new and wonderful. Lázár (1936–2006) was a Hungarian national treasure. . . . Move over Princess Bride: Arnica is a worthy successor to Buttercup." — Susan Harari, Keefe Library, in Youth Services Book Review

"A quacking read... a wonderful, twisted fairytale, with gorgeous illustrations." -- The Times, Children’s Book of the Week

"Gorgeous illustrations! A beautiful Hungarian fairy tale... love, friendship and a wicked witch! Just brilliant!" -- Independent Book Reviews

"Something rather special... [a] fairytale of love and friendship... perfect to read aloud or to share with new slightly more confident readers." -- Angels and Urchins

"A stunning fairytale about love, friendship and laughter, but Lázár also offers wise words about controlling one's anger, forgiveness and showing kindness... this is a magical tale to be enjoyed by readers young and old." -- Bluebird Reviews

"Jacqueline Molnár's eye-catching illustrations have a wonderful folk art quality to them which wonderfully complement the text... contains all the most important ingredients of a fairy tale: friendship, peril, humour and a touch of magic." -- Library Girl and Book Boy blog
"The style of writing is refreshingly modern and amusing… I have no way of knowing if this is the style of Ervin Lázár, capably translated by Anna Bentley, or if there is some magic happening in the translation… It’s really very charming [and] …the illustrations by Jacqueline Molnár turn out to be exactly what the book needs." -- Bookwitch blog