Generosity, princesses, volcanoes, deities—maybe there’s too much packed into this story.

A TRUE PRINCESS OF HAWAI‘I

History mixes with folklore in this story of the Mauna Loa volcano.

In July 1881, Princess Luka traveled to Hilo to reverse the flow of lava from the volcano, an event that provides the foundation for this tale. Little Nani, who wants to be a princess herself, is excited about meeting a real princess. On the way to the harbor, Nani has a strange encounter with an older woman in a white sleeveless dress and lei of reddish flowers, more traditionally attired than the townspeople in their Western clothing. When the old woman asks for something to eat, Nani shares her candy. Nani also provides candy for the balky horse that pulls the wagon that will convey the unusually tall Princess Luka to the volcano, and she supplies a piece of red fabric torn from her petticoat needed by the princess to “appease Pele,” goddess of the volcano. Luka is successful, the lava is stopped, and Nani has yet another meeting with an unknown woman, this time a younger version of the woman in the white dress: it is Pele. The detailed watercolors are sometimes a little stiff and clumsy but give a good sense of 19th-century Hawaii. The story is a little more problematic, with its interjection of folklore and the personification of Pele. Information about volcanoes and Princess Luka is appended.

Generosity, princesses, volcanoes, deities—maybe there’s too much packed into this story. (bibliography) (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62855-948-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Arbordale Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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Innocuous adventuring on the smallest of scales.

THE ADVENTURES OF HENRY WHISKERS

From the Adventures of Henry Whiskers series , Vol. 1

The Mouse and the Motorcycle (1965) upgrades to The Mice and the Rolls-Royce.

In Windsor Castle there sits a “dollhouse like no other,” replete with working plumbing, electricity, and even a full library of real, tiny books. Called Queen Mary’s Dollhouse, it also plays host to the Whiskers family, a clan of mice that has maintained the house for generations. Henry Whiskers and his cousin Jeremy get up to the usual high jinks young mice get up to, but when Henry’s little sister Isabel goes missing at the same time that the humans decide to clean the house up, the usually bookish big brother goes on the adventure of his life. Now Henry is driving cars, avoiding cats, escaping rats, and all before the upcoming mouse Masquerade. Like an extended version of Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Two Bad Mice (1904), Priebe keeps this short chapter book constantly moving, with Duncan’s peppy art a cute capper. Oddly, the dollhouse itself plays only the smallest of roles in this story, and no factual information on the real Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House is included at the tale’s end (an opportunity lost).

Innocuous adventuring on the smallest of scales. (Fantasy. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6575-5

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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Rappaport makes this long struggle palpable and relevant, while Faulkner adds a winning mix of gravitas and high spirits.

ELIZABETH STARTED ALL THE TROUBLE

Rappaport examines the salient successes and raw setbacks along the 144-year-long road between the nation’s birth and women’s suffrage.

This lively yet forthright narrative pivots on a reality that should startle modern kids: women’s right to vote was only achieved in 1920, 72 years after Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York. Indeed, time’s passage figures as a textual motif, connecting across decades such determined women as Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucy Stone. They spoke tirelessly, marched, organized, and got arrested. Rappaport includes events such as 1913’s Women’s Suffrage Parade in Washington, D.C., but doesn’t shy from divisive periods like the Civil War. Faulkner’s meticulously researched gouache-and-ink illustrations often infuse scenes with humor by playing with size and perspective. As Stanton and Lucretia Mott sail into London in 1840 for the World Anti-Slavery Conference, Faulkner depicts the two women as giants on the ship’s upper deck. On the opposite page, as they learn they’ll be barred as delegates, they’re painted in miniature, dwarfed yet unflappable beneath a gallery full of disapproving men. A final double-page spread mingles such modern stars as Shirley Chisholm and Sonia Sotomayor amid the historical leaders.

Rappaport makes this long struggle palpable and relevant, while Faulkner adds a winning mix of gravitas and high spirits. (biographical thumbnails, chronology, sources, websites, further reading, author’s note) (Picture book/biography. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7868-5142-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2015

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