Nigerian-Canadian author Yewande Daniel-Ayoade was inspired to write this book both by her children's love of princesses and her own roots in the Yoruba tribe in western Nigeria. "Traditionally," she tells us in her Author's Note, "when an Oba [a Yoruba king] dies, his eldest son become king. If the Oba doesn't have a son, his eldest daughter becomes a temporary king, called a regent."

The book centers around a dilemma faced by an eight-year-old princess named Abioye whose father, the Oba, has recently died. Still grieving, Abioye is appointed by tradition as regent, to rule for three months until the villagers vote for a new king. Her wise, kind mother soothes Abioye's fears about this responsibility, saying, "... remember what your baba always said. Those who will rule must first learn to serve."

But how can the young princess regent do so when she must stand by quietly while the chiefs talk about titles, taxes, and treaties? Her caring heart soon shows her the way, as she employs listening to learn what her people want and need.

Illustrator Ken Daley employs his African-Caribbean heritage to add zest and color to these pages, whether we're viewing the comings and goings of the marketplace or the choosing of a new king — which happens with a surprise twist.

"In recent years," the author notes, "some Yorubas have begun to question the tradition that requires kings to be male." This book reflects her hope "for a time when Yoruba women can be permanent leaders of their people."