A bedtime storytelling bonanza.
Jamie requests “A made-up one” when his dad asks him what kind of bedtime story he’d like. Then he immediately provides the titular cast of characters for this story within the story, and his dad dutifully begins to spin a yarn. His rambling storytelling is punctuated by Jamie’s questions and interjections, which he integrates into the tale. It’s notable that neither Jamie nor his dad are on the book’s cover, and while Jamie and his dad present black, with brown skin and curly, black hair, the Prince protagonist has lighter skin and straighter brown hair in the digital illustrations depicting his imagined escapades with fierce bears and such. The Princess, who appears later in the story, shares the Prince’s skin tone (in most pages, though this is an inconsistent feature of her visual characterization) but has hair texture more like Jamie’s. Her role runs counter to typical damsel-in-distress narratives since, as Jamie notes, “Mom says Princesses in stories are rubbish.” A Witch with an Evil Eye (and a tiny frog in her pocket) is the antagonist until she and the Prince and Princess make amends, but this occurs only after many (perhaps too many?) silly escapades. The happily-ever-after ending is reinforced by Dad’s affectionate goodnight kiss to Jamie, with a promise of more stories to come.
Silly bedtime fun. (Picture book. 4-6)