A silly, inspiring story of a princess who makes her scientific dreams come true.

THE PRINCESS AND THE PETRI DISH

After numerous setbacks, Princess Pippa achieves her dream of becoming a groundbreaking scientist and inventor.

Even though she lives in a castle, Princess Pippa is not interested in becoming just another curtsying royal. Instead, she spends hours in her laboratory, dreaming of making discoveries that will win her prizes. Lofty ambitions notwithstanding, the majority of Pippa’s chemical forays have been disastrous: In the past, she’s invented brittle bubble gum, soap that turns fingers blue, and bad-smelling mouthwash. Finally, one night at dinner, inspiration strikes. After much experimentation—using a pea, a cocoa bean, and the titular petri dish—Pippa creates peas that tastes like chocolate, so tasty that everyone in the entire kingdom takes to sprinkling them on all of their food at every meal. But just when Pippa is about to celebrate, the pea vines grow faster and faster, spreading beyond the castle walls. Pippa’s scientific prowess is put to the test one more time, when she must invent something to slow down the plants’ growth—and still preserve the delicious peas the kingdom has come to love. Fleiss’ lilting, rhyming abcb verse is a delight to read, and Pippa’s quirky perseverance stands as an endearing example for young budding scientists of all genders. Bouloubasis’ fantastical illustrations are vibrant with movement, color, and detail, but few characters in this kingdom are diverse. The royal family is white.

A silly, inspiring story of a princess who makes her scientific dreams come true. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8075-6644-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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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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Sure to assuage the fears of all astronauts bound for similar missions.

PLANET KINDERGARTEN

A genius way to ease kids into the new adventure that is kindergarten.

In an imaginative ruse that’s maintained through the whole book, a young astronaut prepares for his mission to Planet Kindergarten. On liftoff day (a space shuttle–themed calendar counts down the days; a stopwatch, the minutes), the small family boards their rocket ship (depicted in the illustrations as the family car), and “the boosters fire.” They orbit base camp while looking for a docking place. “I am assigned to my commander, capsule, and crewmates.” Though he’s afraid, he stands tall and is brave (not just once, either—the escape hatch beckons, but NASA’s saying gets him through: “FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION”). Parents will certainly chuckle along with this one, but kindergarten teachers’ stomach muscles will ache: “[G]ravity works differently here. We have to try hard to stay in our seats. And our hands go up a lot.” Prigmore’s digital illustrations are the perfect complement to the tongue-in-cheek text. Bold colors, sharp lines and a retro-space style play up the theme. The intrepid explorer’s crewmates are a motley assortment of “aliens”—among them are a kid in a hoodie with the laces pulled so tight that only a nose and mouth are visible; a plump kid with a bluish cast to his skin; and a pinkish girl with a toothpick-thin neck and huge bug eyes.

Sure to assuage the fears of all astronauts bound for similar missions. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 20, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4521-1893-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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