Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE KITE PRINCESS by Juliet Clare Bell


by Juliet Clare Bell & illustrated by Laura-Kate Chapman

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-84686-803-0
Publisher: Barefoot

To pounding rhyme, Princess Cinnamon Stitch escapes from the confines of deportment into weeds, fleas and tree-climbing and then she transforms her parents.

Cinnamon shucks off her fancy duds to explore the messy, muddy world, but she is brought back to the king and queen before she could play with a local boy. Her mother’s insistence on needlework gives her an idea, though, and she makes a colorful patchwork kite—and takes flight with it. The king and queen are astonished, but they immediately order kites for themselves. “They’re all happy now, and they’re less stuffy too. / With Cinnamon’s stitching, their world grew and grew. / With Cinnamon’s stitching, they took off and flew.” The rhyme is fairly dull, and the tale of a princess longing to escape the confines of grace and needlework to do what children do is not well served by the words. The pictures, done in a variety of media (pencil, felt-tip, collage, watercolor, etc.) and then scanned and arranged, are bright and rich in curlicues and stars, hearts and flowers, leaves and feathers. Often reminiscent of Eastern European folk art or batik patterns, the multiple images provide a lot to look at. Includes CD read by Imelda Staunton (not heard) and instructions for kite-making.

Despite razzle-dazzle illustrations, this familiar tale does not take flight. (Picture book. 5-7)