THE GOLDEN BALL

THE FAIRY TALE OF THE FROG PRINCE AND WHY THE PRINCESS KISSED HIM

A well-known Grimm’s fairy tale is given a playful new interpretation through rhyming couplets and appealing word pictures...

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In her children’s picture book, Sinclair turns a Brothers Grimm classic about a frog and a princess into playful poetry that begs to be read aloud.

In this engaging reinterpretation of the familiar Brothers Grimm fairy tale about an arrogant princess and a witch-cursed-prince-turned-amphibian, Sinclair uses rhyming iambic tetrameter couplets—“An infant princess once was born / Upon an early winter morn / So long ago and far away / Her name is lost to us today”—to tell the tale of enchantment, transformation and royal comeuppance. Sinclair manages the form evenly throughout, from the origins of the princess’ favorite toy (“Because he loved her most of all / The Sun gave her a golden ball”) to the extended happy ending—with the spell broken by a friendly kiss, the little princess and the restored prince, still children, become best friends. They play together, grow up “[a]nd as a happy consequence / They fell in love a few years hence.” In addition to introducing young readers to a classic form of poetry, Sinclair stretches their imaginations through her choice of vocabulary—the princess has a “voracious” appetite, she’s “consumed” by fear, the wily frog prince plots to “contrive” a meeting—adding interest through words and context. Visually, the tale’s characters are represented as simplistic cartoon figures, but the serviceable illustrations feature a variety of scenic backdrops, playing with textures and suggesting varied watercolor and cutout effects. Sinclair helpfully includes a “How to Read this Book Aloud” page of instructions in the back of the book, encouraging readers to enjoy the rhythmic pattern of the text.

A well-known Grimm’s fairy tale is given a playful new interpretation through rhyming couplets and appealing word pictures in this charming read-aloud, read-along book for ages 5 to 9.

Pub Date: July 4, 2011

ISBN: 978-1937186005

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Chthonicity

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2011

CINDERELLA

From the Once Upon a World series

A nice but not requisite purchase.

A retelling of the classic fairy tale in board-book format and with a Mexican setting.

Though simplified for a younger audience, the text still relates the well-known tale: mean-spirited stepmother, spoiled stepsisters, overworked Cinderella, fairy godmother, glass slipper, charming prince, and, of course, happily-ever-after. What gives this book its flavor is the artwork. Within its Mexican setting, the characters are olive-skinned and dark-haired. Cultural references abound, as when a messenger comes carrying a banner announcing a “FIESTA” in beautiful papel picado. Cinderella is the picture of beauty, with her hair up in ribbons and flowers and her typically Mexican many-layered white dress. The companion volume, Snow White, set in Japan and illustrated by Misa Saburi, follows the same format. The simplified text tells the story of the beautiful princess sent to the forest by her wicked stepmother to be “done away with,” the dwarves that take her in, and, eventually, the happily-ever-after ending. Here too, what gives the book its flavor is the artwork. The characters wear traditional clothing, and the dwarves’ house has the requisite shoji screens, tatami mats and cherry blossoms in the garden. The puzzling question is, why the board-book presentation? Though the text is simplified, it’s still beyond the board-book audience, and the illustrations deserve full-size books.

A nice but not requisite purchase. (Board book/fairy tale. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7915-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

THERE'S A MONSTER IN YOUR BOOK

From the Who's in Your Book? series

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

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 4, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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