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THE PRINCE WITH FIVE HEADS by Barbara de Wolf Kirkus Star

THE PRINCE WITH FIVE HEADS

by Barbara de Wolf, illustrated by Barbara de Wolf

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: May 17th, 2011
Publisher: Barbara de Wolf

A prince who keeps losing his interchangeable heads annoys his royal mother no end in this droll original tale.

Having lost his original one under mysterious circumstances, the prince now sports a whole array at will from a mischievous naughty head to a sad one, plus a happy one that doubles as a football (for soccer). When he loses the latter one too, he not only gets a new permanent head at the behest of his mom, the Queen of Clean, but a friend as well—a lonely princess who finds the latest loose noggin and hunts down its original owner. A menu accessible from every screen with a tap both allows readers to skip to any page and to choose among 10 languages for the text and six for the (optional) audio narration. A broad range of automatic and I think that sound effects linked to figures, bubbles, smoke from the Queen’s vacuum-cleaner car and other animations joins a jaunty music track. Both sound effects and music accurately reflects the general air of De Wolf’s informally drawn and colored cartoon art. Other features—like a free-floating brown virtual crayon that goes with the prince’s angry head and a chance to outfit the prince with over a dozen different heads at the local head doctor’s—serve the tale rather than distract from it. The first few pages are free; readers who want the entire story can purchase it within the app.

Good-humored fun, driven by an innately hilarious premise (well, to children anyway) and well-designed, inventive special features. (iPad storybook app. 6-8)