Well-known fairy tales get modern makeovers in this socially conscious compilation.

When Murrow heard these misunderstood princesses’ stories firsthand, she explains in a playful introductory note, she discovered that “a princess is a person who seeks to help others” and “is open to learning new things.” Belle the Brave is a fearless girl who goes after her father because she is good at climbing trees and jumping off ledges. She becomes a police officer with a specialty in restorative justice and is called Beauty because she can see the beauty in others. The Little Mermaid is determined to visit the land of the humans to find a way to keep the oceans clean. She meets a young woman with a similar vision, and after some time working together toward their common cause, the two marry. Rapunzel is a brilliant builder, and she doesn’t let the Prince up the tower without first finding out who he is and what he wants (which is to learn more about her inventive designs). She becomes an architect and helps make the kingdom more accessible to people who are visually impaired, like the Prince. About half of the princesses appear to be of color, with varying skin tones and eye shapes. Combining real-life, meaningful work with the trappings of kingdoms and fairy tales, this volume is a treasure for readers who are tired of traditional helpless princesses who fall in love instantly and “live happily ever after.”

Brilliant. (Fantasy. 6-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-78603-203-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018



Legibility issue aside, required reading for flights that will be as safe as they are exhilarating.

A savvy instruction manual for new magic-carpet owners.

Packaged with “Mosby’s Model D3 Extra-Small Magic Carpet, Especially for Young or Vertically Challenged People” (actual carpet not included, alas), this handy guide gathers a wealth of necessary advice and information. This includes commands programmed in by the manufacturer’s “magicalists,” notes on proper care and storage, best practices for safe flying, aerial hazards, suggested recreational activities, basic survival techniques, and even career possibilities. There’s so much here, in fact, that the pages are stuffed nearly edge to edge with text in a cramped, fussy typeface. Blocks of text are wedged in around cartoon illustrations of buildings and natural features seen from above, views of a racially diverse cast of young carpet riders, and (this particular copy being actually a hand-me-down from an elderly great-aunt) handwritten additions in red ink, e.g.: “Barf stains on a carpet can be exceedingly difficult to clean.” In and around the fun are tidbits of actual information, such as the varying G-forces experienced by a child swinging, sneezing, and riding a roller coaster, the varying altitudes of flyers from bugs and bats to commercial jets, samplings from world cuisines, and orienteering. Despite cultural associations, Mossby’s wares are fairly untrammeled by Middle Eastern stereotypes.

Legibility issue aside, required reading for flights that will be as safe as they are exhilarating. (Informational fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 29, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943147-28-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: The Innovation Press

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017


A warm coming-of-age story populated with a cast of memorable characters.

Kit and Clem are best friends, and both are dealing with life-changing adversity.

Kit is tiny and afflicted with both alopecia universalis (a complete lack of hair that strangers interpret as a result of chemotherapy) and a dysfunctional mother who named her “kit”—not Kit—as a reminder to herself to “keep it together.” Clem, a member of her Latinx family’s acrobatic team, is badly injured during a televised performance. Once she’s recovered from the worst of her injuries, Clem endures her distress by taking on an angry goth identity that contrasts sharply with her previous image. Meanwhile, kit, who is white, copes with anxiety (mostly caused by her mother) by turning into a naked mole rat (the ugly animal her mother often compares her to) and scurrying for cover—or so she believes. The girls’ stories are presented in third-person chapters that seamlessly alternate, not only providing an intimate view of each character’s largely hidden despair, but also revealing their bemused, mostly concealed judgments of each other, as their coping mechanisms serve to drive them apart. A rich cast of secondary characters enhances the tale, including kit’s mom’s somewhat witchy helper and the young teens’ former friend, a kindly boy who has many problems of his own. An author’s note explores anxiety disorder.

A warm coming-of-age story populated with a cast of memorable characters. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61620-724-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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