A comically misnamed Indian princess ruins a series of family vacations.
In Hong Kong the milk’s not right, in China the noodles are too bland, in Singapore the bed’s too hard, and the menagerie in Cambodia doesn’t measure up to the one back home. “Our delicate darling,” fret the princess’s royal parents—ordering the Royal Packer to add a cow, the cook, bedding, and lots of pets to the official baggage list. But when the princess’s demand for a personal elephant causes the overstuffed jetliner to burst, the queen puts her foot down: “NO MORE VACATIONS!” Kuriyan depicts the tantrum-prone princess and her comically dismayed entourage with a range of skin colors nearly as individual as the styles of their brightly patterned traditional dress. Along with such universal funny business as a dog lifting its leg in one chaotic scene and an elephant delivering a massive mound of poop in another, her rollicking cartoons feature sights from each locale. These range from glimpses of the Merlion fountain in Singapore harbor to one of the humorous cautionary road signs (“Don’t be a gama in the land of lama”) placed along the Ladakh region’s northern border. Impelled by boredom, the princess at last agrees to behave like “locals” in future outings and discovers that vacationing in Tibet is “actually quite fun!”
A lighthearted suggestion that “When in Rome…” is a salutary approach anywhere in the world. (Picture book. 6-8)