I WANT MY LIGHT ON!

From the Little Princess Stories series

This long-running British series (the first Little Princess book was published in 1986) has been adapted for television there. In this installment, her dad (in a jacket and tie, wearing his crown) has read her a story and is about to turn off the light when the Little Princess shouts, “I WANT MY LIGHT ON!”—with her entire face subsumed into one of those scarlet, tooth-edged mouths. She’s not afraid of the dark but of ghosts. Dad checks under the bed, and General, Admiral, Doctor and Maid assure her there are no ghosts. The Little Princess’s room is a bright yellow, but readers see glimpses of the castle’s arches and stone steps past her doorway—and then there is a little ghost behind her bedpost, with a skeleton toy the shape of Little Princess’s own stuffie. Ghost and Princess scare each other, and he dashes off to his mother, who, as she stirs her pot of frog, worm and spider stew, assures him that there are no such things as little girls.... The pictures are clear, bold and exaggerated to great humorous effect. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7613-6443-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Andersen Press USA

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An early-reader fantasy tale that portrays a strong friendship but lacks drama.

THE LITTLE WITCH'S BIRTHDAY PARTY

Pellico presents a birthday celebration with both familiar and magical elements in this children’s-book sequel.

Sabrina has planned a picture-perfect eighth birthday party for Anna, her new friend. As Sabrina’s other pals begin to arrive, they can hardly contain their excitement to meet the birthday girl, who’s a genuine, magic-wielding witch. Anna and her warlock brother, Drew, amaze the partygoers with a fantastic entrance; they have Anna’s color-changing cat with them, and Drew magically lights the birthday candles. Anna and her sibling are thrilled by the party piñata, the red velvet cake, and the pleasant celebration. When Sabrina and Anna part, they promise to meet again soon, so that Anna can teach her witch pal how to ride a bike and Anna can instruct her nonmagical friend on how to ride a broom. Pellico’s upbeat follow-up fantasy is longer and offers more detail than its predecessor. However, it lacks a strong plot, as the characters have no real problems to overcome. Readers also learn relatively little about Anna and her everyday life. The celebration itself offers a solid balance of fantasy and traditional elements, allowing readers to find joy in both. At times, the text feels cumbersome for an audience of early readers, but the blend of dialogue and narration maintains a good pace. Berry’s full-color illustrations are effective, particularly when depicting Anna’s and Drew’s magical-looking clothing. Once again, this series entry encourages readers to be open to other people’s differences, but its lack of conflict may strike some as unrealistic.

An early-reader fantasy tale that portrays a strong friendship but lacks drama.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-73391-305-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Moonbow Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

WILLIAM AND THE NIGHT TRAIN

Even children who, like William, are "switched on like a light" when bedtime rolls around will drift off as the "train that goes to tomorrow" fills up with drowsy travelers: "Teachers and jugglers, sacks, cats, and packages, piglets in baskets and babies in bundles." William's fellow passengers have exaggeratedly wide middles and tiny extremities, as if viewed in a funhouse mirror, but the distortion is more comic than eerie, and suits the illustrations' curves and slanting perspectives to a "Z." Each car features a different arrangement of picture and words: sometimes text runs around the outside, sometimes it separates two-thirds from the rest, occasionally it rests on top of the illustration, and once it is even in the smoke of the train in a full-bleed spread. The train starts up at last; William cuddles close to his mother, listening to her heart and closing his wide eyes. Here they are flanked by a swooping train on the track, as the seat becomes a pasture. The engineer in his nightgown and stocking cap stands at the throttle as the train is "filling the world with billows of steam, soft see-through clouds that turn into dreams." Then suddenly it's coming into the station beneath a rising sun. A truly memorable ride, this ticket to dreamland will be good for many repeated trips. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 21, 2001

ISBN: 0-374-38437-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more