GOOD NIGHT, PRINCESS PRUNEY TOES

Tooth-achingly sweet but winning is this bedtime tale of a princess and her royal father from the team that produced It's Time for School, Stinky Face (2000) and its predecessors. Out of her bath steps Princess Pruney Toes, ready for the royal drying before stepping into her spun-gold gown. (Her father had earlier proffered crocodile jammies. Imagine. "My mistake, your highness," Sir Daddy apologized.) He then suggests to the princess that she might like a bedtime snack of a star of bread with magical jam. "What sort of magic will you use?" asks the princess. "Magic spice," says Sir Daddy. "There was a sale in aisle nine." A song is sung, a dragon disguised as a family dog tries to steal the royal snack, a short flight is taken on angel's wings to bed, but not before Sir Daddy requests a royal dance. That's enough to melt even this princess's playacting. Having wished on a star, she asks, "Do you know what I wished for, Daddy?" He asks what. "To be your most special and favorite girl forever and ever." Wish granted. Artwork as color-shot and fleeting as pixie dust accompanies McCourt's jubilant, honeyed observance of the father-daughter bond. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-8167-5205-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Troll

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2001

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I CAN BE ANYTHING!

A young boy wonders aloud to a rabbit friend what he will be when he grows up and imagines some outrageous choices. “Puddle stomper,” “bubble gum popper,” “mixing-bowl licker,” “baby-sis soother” are just some of the 24 inspiringly creative vocations Spinelli’s young dreamer envisions in this pithy rhymed account. Aided by Liao’s cleverly integrated full-bleed mixed-media illustrations, which radiate every hue of the rainbow, and dynamic typesetting with words that swoop and dive, the author’s perspective on this adult-inspired question yields some refreshingly child-oriented answers. Given such an irresistible array of options—“So many jobs! / They’re all such fun”—the boy in the end decides, in an exuberant double gatefold, “I’m going to choose… / EVERY ONE!”—a conclusion befitting a generation expected to have more than six careers each. Without parents or peers around to corral this carefree child’s dreams, the possibilities of being whatever one wants appear both limitless and attainable. An inspired take on a timeless question. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-316-16226-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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NOT A BOX

Dedicated “to children everywhere sitting in cardboard boxes,” this elemental debut depicts a bunny with big, looping ears demonstrating to a rather thick, unseen questioner (“Are you still standing around in that box?”) that what might look like an ordinary carton is actually a race car, a mountain, a burning building, a spaceship or anything else the imagination might dream up. Portis pairs each question and increasingly emphatic response with a playscape of Crockett Johnson–style simplicity, digitally drawn with single red and black lines against generally pale color fields. Appropriately bound in brown paper, this makes its profound point more directly than such like-themed tales as Marisabina Russo’s Big Brown Box (2000) or Dana Kessimakis Smith’s Brave Spaceboy (2005). (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-112322-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2006

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