Teachers and students alike will delight in this food fight. Who will be the winner? Readers will be hungry to find out.

READ REVIEW

LADY PANCAKE & SIR FRENCH TOAST

From the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series

A tale of “to-go” food that is good for you!

What happens between pancakes and French toast when there is only one drop of syrup left? Readers get a ringside seat when the refrigerator door closes and the food comes to life. Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast take off on an edible version of American Ninja, running and rappelling through all the major food groups, each determined to reach the syrup first. The competition is fierce, as Toast plops into a vat of jam, and Pancake get sucked into chili-based muck. As the two royals skip through the Broccoli Forest and sail across soupy seas, the chilly interior of the refrigerator morphs into a true Hunger Games arena. While the rhyming meter is a bit tricky and may require practice before reading aloud, Kearney’s illustrations kick butter, with full command of the story’s arc. The bean avalanche is a trippy wonder that will be replayed at many dinner tables. The vibrant colors on simple backgrounds keep the action at the forefront, while the acrobatic rhymes tackle the next hurdle. Though not a nutritional guide, this serving of breakfast foods provides a heaping side of verbs.

Teachers and students alike will delight in this food fight. Who will be the winner? Readers will be hungry to find out. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4549-1404-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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Action, clever humor, delightful illustrations and expectation-defying secret identities—when does the next one come out?

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THE PRINCESS IN BLACK

From the Princess in Black series , Vol. 1

Perfect Princess Magnolia has a secret—her alter ego is the Princess in Black, a superhero figure who protects the kingdom!

When nosy Duchess Wigtower unexpectedly drops by Princess Magnolia’s castle, Magnolia must protect her secret identity from the duchess’s prying. But then Magnolia’s monster alarm, a glitter-stone ring, goes off. She must save the day, leaving the duchess unattended in her castle. After a costume change, the Princess in Black joins her steed, Blacky (public identity: Frimplepants the unicorn), to protect Duff the goat boy and his goats from a shaggy, blue, goat-eating monster. When the monster refuses to see reason, Magnolia fights him, using special moves like the “Sparkle Slam” and the “Twinkle Twinkle Little Smash.” The rounded, cartoony illustrations featuring chubby characters keep the fight sequence soft and comical. Watching the fight, Duff notices suspicious similarities between the Princess in Black and Magnolia—quickly dismissed as “a silly idea”—much like the duchess’s dismissal of some discovered black stockings as being simply dirty, as “princesses don’t wear black.” The gently ironic text will amuse readers (including adults reading the book aloud). The large print and illustrations expand the book to a longish-yet-manageable length, giving newly independent readers a sense of accomplishment. The ending hints at another hero, the Goat Avenger.

Action, clever humor, delightful illustrations and expectation-defying secret identities—when does the next one come out? (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6510-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

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A chuckle-inducing, entirely worthy stand-alone follow-up to the terrific The Princess in Black (2014).

THE PRINCESS IN BLACK AND THE PERFECT PRINCESS PARTY

From the Princess in Black series , Vol. 2

Princess Magnolia’s perfect birthday party’s threatened by constant monster alarms, summoning her secret identity again and again.

Prim, proper Princess Magnolia is all decked out in her pink finery, awaiting the arrival of a dozen ethnically diverse fellow-princess party guests for her birthday when her monster-alarm ring goes off. She changes attire and personas, becoming the heroic Princess in Black. Working swiftly, she saves a goat from a hungry monster and gets back to her palace in time to welcome her guests. But just when she thinks she’s in the clear and ready to open her presents, off goes her monster-alarm ring again! This pattern—Magnolia is just about to open presents when her alarm goes off, she comes up with a distraction for the princesses, defeats a monster, and returns just in time—continues through the book. It’s enhanced by visual gags, such as Magnolia’s increasingly flustered appearance, and hilarious depictions of the various ways monsters try to eat goats, from between giant pieces of bread to in a giant ice cream cone. A side character, the fittingly named Princess Sneezewort, frequently comes close to discovering Magnolia’s secret. In the end, Magnolia can’t take the constant interruptions anymore, yelling at a monster that it’s her birthday—the monster, abashed, ends up helping her in one last distraction for the other princesses.

A chuckle-inducing, entirely worthy stand-alone follow-up to the terrific The Princess in Black (2014). (Fantasy. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6511-1

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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