Three cheers for this princess whose magic comes from her confidence and determination rather than gauzy wings or shiny...

READ REVIEW

THE VERY FAIRY PRINCESS FOLLOWS HER HEART!

From the Very Fairy Princess series , Vol. 4

Gerry, full of her characteristic pluck and sparkle, returns in this fourth installment of the best-selling Very Fairy Princess series.

Feb. 14 is approaching, and Gerry literally throws herself into a joyous crafting frenzy as she works to make the very best valentines for her family, friends and even Connor, although he pulls her hair in class. Mommy helpfully gives Gerry one of Daddy’s folders to keep her creations safe. When the big day arrives, Gerry and her family enjoy heart-shaped pancakes and share valentines. Then she dresses in her very best tiara and wings for the big party at school. In all the excitement, she nearly misses her bus and almost forgets her valentines but grabs the folder just in time. It is the wrong folder, however. Without her valentines to distribute, all seems ruined…until a few encouraging words from her teacher and a sudden wonderful idea produce some pleasantly surprising results: Connor is not so bad after all, and it is great to actually tell someone face to face what you most appreciate about them. Andrews and Hamilton’s text successfully captures the enthusiastic urgency of their impish protagonist. What truly impresses is Davenier’s ink-and–colored-pencil artwork that vividly portrays Gerry’s every emotion, whether she is over-the-top happy or utterly disappointed.

Three cheers for this princess whose magic comes from her confidence and determination rather than gauzy wings or shiny baubles. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-316-18559-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A nice sentiment marred somewhat by its forced verse.

A BOOK OF LOVE

A how-to book of love.

Valentine’s Day brings a new crop of books each year about love, including at least one that attempts to define and exemplify love. This is that book for 2020. “We often show our love with touch, / like a great big hug or kiss. / But there are lots of ways to show you care, / and ideas not to miss.” These include being patient, listening to someone who’s having a tough day, gifts, kind deeds (like washing the dishes), “forgiving and forgetting,” sharing with siblings, standing up for people, and looking past faults. In some cases, the pictures may not aid much in comprehension, especially with the younger audience the rhymes are meant to appeal to: “To offer a gentle word or two, / and consider how others feel, / are both examples of selfless acts / that prove your love is real” (one child cheers on a frightened soloist at a recital—does that really illustrate selflessness?). The meter is sometimes off, and in a few cases it’s clear words were chosen for rhyme rather than meaning. Bright illustrations fill the pages with adorable children readers can trace throughout the book. The final two spreads are the strongest: One depicts a robustly diverse crowd of people all holding hands and smiling; the other is a starry spread over a neighborhood full of homes, hearts spangling the sky.

A nice sentiment marred somewhat by its forced verse. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9331-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Sadly, the storytelling runs aground.

LITTLE RED SLEIGH

A little red sleigh has big Christmas dreams.

Although the detailed, full-color art doesn’t anthropomorphize the protagonist (which readers will likely identify as a sled and not a sleigh), a close third-person text affords the object thoughts and feelings while assigning feminine pronouns. “She longed to become Santa’s big red sleigh,” reads an early line establishing the sleigh’s motivation to leave her Christmas-shop home for the North Pole. Other toys discourage her, but she perseveres despite creeping self-doubt. A train and truck help the sleigh along, and when she wishes she were big, fast, and powerful like them, they offer encouragement and counsel patience. When a storm descends after the sleigh strikes out on her own, an unnamed girl playing in the snow brings her to a group of children who all take turns riding the sleigh down a hill. When the girl brings her home, the sleigh is crestfallen she didn’t reach the North Pole. A convoluted happily-ever-after ending shows a note from Santa that thanks the sleigh for giving children joy and invites her to the North Pole next year. “At last she understood what she was meant to do. She would build her life up spreading joy, one child at a time.” Will she leave the girl’s house to be gifted to other children? Will she stay and somehow also reach ever more children? Readers will be left wondering. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-18-inch double-page spreads viewed at 31.8% of actual size.)

Sadly, the storytelling runs aground. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-72822-355-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more