A zany, comedic fairy tale with a contemporary twist.


Bubblegum Princess

Surprises abound and social conventions turn upside down in debut author Gribble’s wacky, lighthearted riff on the fairy-tale tradition.

Intelligent, kindhearted Katy is an ordinary girl with a decidedly improper penchant for chewing gum. Her parents have never been thrilled with her bubble-gum fixation, so when the family is invited to celebrate Prince Will’s birthday, she is forced to quit her unseemly habit before the ball. She’s melancholy about the prospect of relinquishing her bubble gum, but she resolves to give it up before the party. On the night of the ball, everything seems poised for a perfect royal evening, but when a forbidden bubble materializes just as Katy is curtsying to the queen, no one will believe that she wasn’t the culprit. Displeased by this breach in decorum, the queen is ready to banish Katy from the kingdom, until a surprising new friend appears, and Katy remains stubbornly devoted to her bubble gum. This tongue-in-cheek, quirky picture book seems to revel in its elevated vocabulary and punchy, unpatterned rhyme, although the use of wordplay and alliteration sometimes sounds forced and excessive. The cartoonish, pastel illustrations are a perfect complement to the text, with bright shades of magenta and endearing animals on nearly every page. References to the royal family occur throughout, from the irreverent illustrations to the playful depiction of the queen’s corgis, though it’s hard to pinpoint the exact meaning of the satire, if there is one. It’s difficult to become fully invested in the decidedly trivial conflict, but the book offers enough fun and modern-day appeal to intrigue young readers anyway. The plot and premise may be bizarre, but the silly, upbeat plot twists make this a delightful book to read aloud to wannabe princesses and royal enthusiasts alike.

A zany, comedic fairy tale with a contemporary twist.

Pub Date: July 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0989091404

Page Count: 32

Publisher: NY Media Works

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2013

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Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.


From the There’s a…in Your Book series

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...


Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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