THE STORY BOOK PRINCE by Joanne Oppenheim


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A small prince successfully outlasts the many allies his parents enlist to get him to sleep, until an old woman comes up with the obvious solution: a book at bedtime. Other suggestions have included hot milk, a medicine that puts everyone else to sleep (in questionable taste, that), and such counterproductive measures as dancing, magicians, and jugglers. The text is in the sort of doggerel verse that drags in superfluous words in the interests of rhyme and meter (of a quilt: ""Try this, little Prince, it's soft as new snow./You'll drift off to dreamland. You'll love it, I know""), and although there are clever bits like ""Jesters made gestures./Learned professors made countless conjectures,"" this lacks the precision and wit of such masters as Nash or Milne. Litzinger's stylish full-color illustrations employ the hues of a tropical sunset, from warm pinks to turquoise and various purples, and dancing curvilinear forms that contrast with a checkerboard floor. Reminiscent of de Paola's work, they are more cluttered, lively but unoriginal in concept. And most disappointing, the book that provides the final solution has only one virtue: it puts the prince to sleep.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1986
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich