THE PRINCESS IN THE KITCHEN GARDEN by Annemie Heymans

THE PRINCESS IN THE KITCHEN GARDEN

Age Range: 5 - 9

KIRKUS REVIEW

 From the Dutch, a surreal story about a brother and sister coping with their father's withdrawal after their mother's death. Father has retreated to his home office, emerging only to make dictatorial pronoucements, oblivious to 11-year-old Hannah's lonely struggle to care for little Matthew and their home. So Hannah moves into Mama's walled, overgrown garden and tries to reclaim it, while Matthew shuttles to and fro, bringing Hannah her doll, some furniture, the piano. Told largely in monologues by the children, matched to numerous quietly expressive drawings on each spread, the events gradually reveal the children's grief and the sad state of their newly dysfunctional household. Alternating full-spread pictures in subdued but lovely color offer broader perspectives. Finally, Father joins the children and the story ends on a note of hope. The non-narrative format asks more than usual of readers, but those who make the effort will be rewarded with a poignant portrayal of real emotion. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: April 30th, 1993
ISBN: 0-374-36122-3
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1993




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