Next book


From the One Story, Many Voices series

An interesting addition to the shelf for fairy-tale enthusiasts.

A war-weary soldier uncovers the treachery of royals in this retelling of a Grimms’ fairy tale.

A soldier wanders the land, heavy-hearted from “all that he had seen and much that he had done, in the name of the king.” In the forest, he meets a vibrant woman and confesses that he has no will to live. The woman takes his hand and tells him of the mystery of the princesses and the tattered shoes. Whoever discovers why the king’s daughters are weary every morning, with worn shoes under their beds, will be rewarded with the choice of a bride from among them and ultimately the throne. Whoever tries and fails will be punished by death. With the woman’s guidance and assistance, the soldier discovers the secret of the princesses, their lovers, and their all-night parties—but he refuses the reward, thoroughly fed up with the lives of rulers. He sets off to find the woman in the forest who was good to him. The story is fluid and haunting, retaining the grim themes and archaic social mores of traditional fairy tales as well as their strangely intriguing, mysterious, and fantastical qualities. Abdollahi’s stylized illustrations use texture and line with a dark color scheme and figures whose aesthetic mirrors that of marionettes. The 12 beautiful princesses have a variety of skin tones and hair colors, and both protagonist and the woman who helps him have brown skin.

An interesting addition to the shelf for fairy-tale enthusiasts. (Picture book/fairy tale. 5-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-910328-37-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Tiny Owl

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

Next book


From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

Next book


From the The Kingdom of Wrenly series , Vol. 1

A gentle adventure that sets the stage for future quests.

A lonely prince gains a friend for a quest to find a missing jewel.

Prince Lucas of Wrenly has everything a boy could possibly want—except a friend. His father has forbidden him to play with the village children for reasons of propriety. Adventure-seeking Lucas acquires peasant clothes to masquerade as a commoner and make friends, but he is caught out. His mother, the queen, persuades the king to allow him one friend: Clara, the daughter of her personal dressmaker. When the queen’s prized emerald pendant goes missing, Lucas and Clara set off to find it. They follow the jewel as it changes hands, interviewing each temporary owner. Their adventure cleverly introduces the series’ world and peoples, taking the children to the fairy island of Primlox, the trolls’ home of Burth, the wizard island of Hobsgrove and finally Mermaid’s Cove. By befriending the mermaids, Lucas and Clara finally recover the jewel. In thanks, the king gives Clara a horse of her own so that she may ride with Lucas on their future adventures. The third-person narration is generally unobtrusive, allowing the characters to take center stage. The charming, medieval-flavored illustrations set the fairy-tale scene and take up enough page space that new and reluctant readers won’t be overwhelmed by text.

 A gentle adventure that sets the stage for future quests. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-9691-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

Close Quickview