Truly a fairy tale to warm cockles on both sides of the pond, with a few dashes of sauce to flavor the sugar.

Oozing charm, a sweet bonbon to celebrate the royal wedding of (probably) the decade.

“Once upon a time in a delightful country called England, there lived a young prince….” Illustrated with cartoons done in spot-on Quentin Blake style and (optionally) narrated in a cheery British lilt, this brief tale brings young William, who “knew that one day he would grow up to be king” but “wondered whether he might be lonely in the palace,” and Catherine, who “[l]ike many little girls, … dreamt of meeting a prince” together. They meet at an old library table and proceed to go on a balloon ride that stands in for “all kinds of adventures.” Then it's on to the wedding, mutual “I do”s, the dancing, the honeymoon and, at last, an optimistic (considering recent family history) “happily ever after.” (This, in a large castle described as a “pretty little cottage in the middle of the Welsh countryside.”) Sounds, animations and other special effects there are aplenty. Sheep open their mouths to bleat or snatch a bouquet, and a glittering royal engagement ring pops out of a padded box with a hearty “ka-ching!”; There are touch-activated fireworks and approving murmurs from formal portraits of Queen Victoria and Henry VIII.

Truly a fairy tale to warm cockles on both sides of the pond, with a few dashes of sauce to flavor the sugar. (iPad storybook app. 6-9, adult)

Pub Date: April 8, 2011


Page Count: -

Publisher: Ink Robin

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2011


A gleeful game for budding naturalists.

Artfully cropped animal portraits challenge viewers to guess which end they’re seeing.

In what will be a crowd-pleasing and inevitably raucous guessing game, a series of close-up stock photos invite children to call out one of the titular alternatives. A page turn reveals answers and basic facts about each creature backed up by more of the latter in a closing map and table. Some of the posers, like the tail of an okapi or the nose on a proboscis monkey, are easy enough to guess—but the moist nose on a star-nosed mole really does look like an anus, and the false “eyes” on the hind ends of a Cuyaba dwarf frog and a Promethea moth caterpillar will fool many. Better yet, Lavelle saves a kicker for the finale with a glimpse of a small parasitical pearlfish peeking out of a sea cucumber’s rear so that the answer is actually face and butt. “Animal identification can be tricky!” she concludes, noting that many of the features here function as defenses against attack: “In the animal world, sometimes your butt will save your face and your face just might save your butt!” (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A gleeful game for budding naturalists. (author’s note) (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: July 11, 2023

ISBN: 9781728271170

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2023


Hundreds of pages of unbridled uplift boiled down to 40.

From two Nobel Peace Prize winners, an invitation to look past sadness and loneliness to the joy that surrounds us.

Bobbing in the wake of 2016’s heavyweight Book of Joy (2016), this brief but buoyant address to young readers offers an earnest insight: “If you just focus on the thing that is making / you sad, then the sadness is all you see. / But if you look around, you will / see that joy is everywhere.” López expands the simply delivered proposal in fresh and lyrical ways—beginning with paired scenes of the authors as solitary children growing up in very different circumstances on (as they put it) “opposite sides of the world,” then meeting as young friends bonded by streams of rainbow bunting and going on to share their exuberantly hued joy with a group of dancers diverse in terms of age, race, culture, and locale while urging readers to do the same. Though on the whole this comes off as a bit bland (the banter and hilarity that characterized the authors’ recorded interchanges are absent here) and their advice just to look away from the sad things may seem facile in view of what too many children are inescapably faced with, still, it’s hard to imagine anyone in the world more qualified to deliver such a message than these two. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Hundreds of pages of unbridled uplift boiled down to 40. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-48423-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

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