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

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

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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

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A TREE IS NICE

A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the tree...play pirate ship...pick the apples...build playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

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