Save your dollars for other bee books, other princess books, other books.

READ REVIEW

PRINCESSES SAVE THE WORLD

Princesses reintroduce honeybees to a place that needs them.

While this sequel to Princesses Wear Pants (2017) is sure to generate buzz due to author Guthrie’s celebrity, it’s every bit as lackluster as its predecessor. Stilted, forced rhyme tells a convoluted tale of Princess Penelope Pineapple’s efforts to bring honeybees to Princess Sabrina Strawberry’s kingdom (the former girl is depicted as white, the latter as black). The text never explains how the Strawberry Kingdom lost its pollinators, and the story presents the crisis as limited to a gardening problem (how will they make smoothies?), while the solution to the smoothie catastrophe is merely a matter of moving some of Penelope’s bees there. A multiracial cast of princesses descends and concocts a perfume of sorts to lure the bees, whose numbers are oddly small in the digital illustrations. Once they successfully pollinate the flora, a year passes and the princesses have a tea party with fruit pies. Throughout, Byrne’s uninspired digital illustrations vary little in their visual perspective, resulting in a dull presentation of the redundant visual narrative. To make this poor book even worse, the bland three-paragraph backmatter note about the current crisis in the honeybee population offers little substance and no resources beyond advice to “ask your teacher or a local librarian to direct you to some books or online resources about honeybees.”

Save your dollars for other bee books, other princess books, other books. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3171-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

It’s gratifying to see Lola’s love of books leading her to new experiences.

LOLA PLANTS A GARDEN

From the Lola & Leo series

Hoping to have a garden like the one in her poetry book, Lola plants seeds, waits and weeds, and finally celebrates with friends.

The author and illustrator of Lola Loves Stories (2010) and its companion titles take their appealing character outside. Inspired by her favorite poem, the nursery rhyme “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary” (repeated on the front endpapers), Lola chooses her favorite flowers from library books. Helped by her parents, she grows a grandly diverse flower garden, just right for a celebration with peas and strawberries from the family plot. Beardshaw’s acrylic illustrations show her garden in all its stages. They also show the copper-toned preschooler reading on her mother’s lap, making a flower book, a beaded string with bells and shells, a little Mary Mary doll and cupcakes for the celebration. Her bunchy ponytails are redone, and her flower shirt is perfect for the party. Not only has she provided the setting; she makes up a story for her friends. The simple sentences of the text and charming pictures make this a good choice for reading aloud or early reading alone. On the rear endpapers, the nursery rhyme has been adapted to celebrate “Lola, Lola, Extraordinary.”

It’s gratifying to see Lola’s love of books leading her to new experiences. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-58089-694-8

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A quiet, warm look at the bond between grandfather and grandson.

MAX AND THE TAG-ALONG MOON

After a visit, an African-American grandfather and grandson say farewell under a big yellow moon. Granpa tells Max it is the same moon he will see when he gets home.

This gently told story uses Max’s fascination with the moon’s ability to “tag along” where his family’s car goes as a metaphor for his grandfather’s constant love. Separating the two relatives is “a swervy-curvy road” that travels up and down hills, over a bridge, “past a field of sleeping cows,” around a small town and through a tunnel. No matter where Max travels, the moon is always there, waiting around a curve or peeking through the trees. But then “[d]ark clouds tumbled across the night sky.” No stars, no nightingales and no moon are to be found. Max frets: “Granpa said it would always shine for me.” Disappointed, Max climbs into bed, missing both the moon and his granpa. In a dramatic double-page spread, readers see Max’s excitement as “[s]lowly, very slowly, Max’s bedroom began to fill with a soft yellow glow.” Cooper uses his signature style to illustrate both the landscape—sometimes viewed from the car windows or reflected in the vehicle’s mirror—and the expressive faces of his characters. Coupled with the story’s lyrical text, this is a lovely mood piece.

A quiet, warm look at the bond between grandfather and grandson. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 13, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-23342-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more