In this “coping with divorce” tale, a split family becomes an extended one—of robbers, royals and dragons.
“I have a really big family,” announces the matter-of-fact young narrator. “There are about 9 to 22 of us…depending on the day.” At first, seven robber sibs don’t mind shuttling back and forth between their robber parents, who split up because “they just weren’t getting along,” until a princess and her six “prim and prissy little princes and princesses” move in with Dad. So sad is he when his children drive the interlopers away, though, that the younger robbers track them down, rescue them and troop back. In consequence, it’s then not so much of a shock when the robbers’ mom announces that she’s taken up with a dragon father and his six offspring. For easy visual ID, Krause dresses all the robbers in black trench coats with very tall, skinny hats and the princesses in pink gowns and crowns teetering atop equally tall hairdos (the princelings get crowns and sailor suits). Her small figures march about or play in groups in the sketchily detailed cartoon illustrations—gathering in the final scene for general cavorting around a picnic blanket on which the four adults sit and chat amicably.
Very slightly disguised bibliotherapy, applied with a light touch and capped with a tidy but not unbelievable resolution. (Picture book. 6-8)