A monarch and his husband long for a baby girl of their own—sparking an arduous search—in this picture book.
In their tiny castle, King Phillip the Good and his “elegant husband, The Most Excellent Don Carlos Emiliano Felipe de Compañero y Campañero,” live happily together. At 8 o’clock every night, Don Carlos can toll the bell and report: “All is assuredly well. / Most assuredly well.” But one day, Phillip realizes that “we need a little princess, a tiny baby girl!” For many nights, the king wishes on the Blue Star for a princess to appear, but without result. But one day, Phillip sees the star beckoning him to follow it through the woods. Understanding he must earn his daughter, the monarch embarks on a dangerous journey. At last the star leads him to a fairy circle where a perfect baby girl sleeps. He and Don Carlos are overjoyed, and again all is well in the kingdom. Gore (Inclusion Strategies for Secondary Classrooms, 2010, etc.) and debut author Wilson offer a charming fable with an effective fairy-tale cadence; the king’s struggles in the forest (he even wrestles a bear) echo the real-life difficulties of adoption, surrogacy, and similar steps toward creating a family. Adoptees should appreciate how desired the baby is, and Phillip’s and Don Carlos’ mutual affection remains touching. The Arthur Rackham–like images in lavender-blue tones by debut illustrator Trotter are a gorgeous, striking plus, beautifully detailed with flower, bird, vine, and fruit motifs.
Sweet characters, skillful storytelling, and knockout illustrations.