REAL PRINCESSES CHANGE THE WORLD

No glass slippers: just women with brains, skills, and dedication. Real princesses indeed.

Princesses rock!

Princess admirers should enjoy these brief, laudatory profiles of 15 modern-day royals from monarchies across the globe—among them one duchess and four young heirs apparent from Western Europe. The book spotlights their varied achievements and talents and the important work they do for their countries and people. For example, Princess Abze Djigma of Burkina Faso is a trained engineer who created a solar-powered light for her nation’s citizens who lacked access to electricity. Each profile is headed by an emphatic statement (“Real princesses are LAWYERS,” “Real Princesses are ENVIRONMENTALISTS”). The book expands readers’ worldviews: They’ll discover princesses live almost everywhere and are racially and ethnically diverse. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is included (as is Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales), though her profile notes that she and the Duke of Sussex “are no longer working members of the royal family,” it doesn’t mention that the couple now reside in the United States. Some readers may wish for a pronunciation guide and photographs of the princesses. The writing is straightforward and upbeat but generalized. Some facts aren’t explained, e.g., why Princess Keisha Omilana of Nigeria lives in London. Illustrations are bright, cheery, and colorful, depicting princesses posed against themed settings; background figures are racially diverse. Some princesses wear national dress. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

No glass slippers: just women with brains, skills, and dedication. Real princesses indeed. (author’s note, glossary, “who said it?” quiz, “dream big questions,” websites with further information) (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 11, 2023

ISBN: 9781250751430

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2023

MORE THAN PEACH

An inspirational look at one girl’s quest to make sure that all skin tones are visible and available in the classroom.

A Black girl’s simple observation propels her into activism.

Woodard, who launched the More Than Peach Project—which arranges for classrooms and children in need to receive kits that include art supplies and boxes of multicultural crayons (crayons in a variety of skin tones)—relates the incident that sparked her journey. As the book begins, she is dropped off at school and notices that her family’s skin tone differs from that of her classmates. While it is clear that she is one of a few children of color at school, that difference isn’t really felt until her friends start asking for the “skin-color” crayon when they mean peach. She’s bothered that no one else seems to notice that skin comes in many colors, so she devises a unique way of bringing everyone’s attention to that fact. With support from her family and her school, she encourages her fellow classmates to rethink their language and starts an initiative to ensure that everyone’s skin tone is represented in each crayon box. Appealing, realistic artwork depicts Woodard’s experiences, while endpapers feature More Than Peach crayon boxes and childlike illustrations of kids of different ethnicities doing various activities. The story is stirring and will motivate budding activists. (This book was reviewed digitally; the review has been updated for factual accuracy.)

An inspirational look at one girl’s quest to make sure that all skin tones are visible and available in the classroom. (note from Woodard, information on Woodard’s journey into activism, instructions on starting a drive) (Picture-book biography. 6-10)

Pub Date: July 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-80927-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

BASKETBALL DREAMS

Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses.

An NBA star pays tribute to the influence of his grandfather.

In the same vein as his Long Shot (2009), illustrated by Frank Morrison, this latest from Paul prioritizes values and character: “My granddad Papa Chilly had dreams that came true,” he writes, “so maybe if I listen and watch him, / mine will too.” So it is that the wide-eyed Black child in the simply drawn illustrations rises early to get to the playground hoops before anyone else, watches his elder working hard and respecting others, hears him cheering along with the rest of the family from the stands during games, and recalls in a prose afterword that his grandfather wasn’t one to lecture but taught by example. Paul mentions in both the text and the backmatter that Papa Chilly was the first African American to own a service station in North Carolina (his presumed dream) but not that he was killed in a robbery, which has the effect of keeping the overall tone positive and the instructional content one-dimensional. Figures in the pictures are mostly dark-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-81003-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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