THERE'S A PRINCESS IN THE PALACE

FIVE CLASSIC TALES

The Alley duo spread the joy of There’s a Wolf at the Door (2009) into another oversized and overstuffed (with giggles, that is) volume. Within a graphic-novel format, the tales of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, the Frog Prince and the Princess and the Pea develop familial and hilarious interconnections while retaining the stories’ traditional structures. The humor is decidedly contemporary: Cinderella’s fairy godmother sends her off with, “Have fun! Make good decisions!” and Princess Dawn (Cinderella’s daughter, Sleeping Beauty) whines about being bored. A pair of mice who appear in each tale and in many frames kibitz vigorously, commenting, punning and making allusions that are funny even if readers do not entirely understand them. The colors are bright, the line vivacious and the typefaces dance and sing. The Dwarfs in Snow White (Les, Lew, Sam, Hank, Nat, Myron—and Bethanne) each sport a different old-guy hat (or kerchief), the princes are all handsome and supportive and Joan the disgruntled fairy finds a new calling in real estate. Smartly hysterical. (Graphic fairy tales. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59643-471-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE JUNKYARD WONDERS

Trisha is ready to start at a new school, where no one will know she has dyslexia. At first, she is heartbroken to be in Miss Peterson’s special-ed class, aka, “the junkyard.” But Miss Peterson treats the children as anything but junk, showing them that everyone has a unique talent. Polacco’s trademark style is fully present here; her sensitively drawn alter ego shines with depth of feeling. When bullying occurs, Miss Peterson proves her students are worthwhile by planning a junkyard field trip, where they find valuable objects to be used in exciting ways. Trisha’s group repairs a plane, and the class buys an engine for it. Then a beloved class member dies, and the children must find a way to honor him. While the plot meanders somewhat, the characters are appealing, believable and provide a fine portrayal of a truly special class. Children will be drawn in by the story’s warmth and gentle humor and will leave with a spark of inspiration, an appreciation of individual differences and a firm anti-bullying message, all underscored by the author’s note that concludes the book. (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-399-25078-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

LIKE PICKLE JUICE ON A COOKIE

When Bibi, her first and favorite babysitter, moves away, it takes all of August for 8-year-old Eleanor to get beyond her sense of loss and get used to a new caretaker. Her parents grieve, too; her mother even takes some time off work. But, as is inevitable in a two-income family, eventually a new sitter appears. Natalie is sensible and understanding. They find new activities to do together, including setting up a lemonade stand outside Eleanor’s Brooklyn apartment building, waiting for Val, the mail carrier, and taking pictures of flowers with Natalie’s camera. Gradually Eleanor adjusts, September comes, her new teacher writes a welcoming letter, her best friend returns from summer vacation and third grade starts smoothly. Best of all, Val brings a loving letter from Bibi in Florida. While the story is relatively lengthy, each chapter is a self-contained episode, written simply and presented in short lines, accessible to those still struggling with the printed word. Cordell’s gray-scale line drawings reflect the action and help break up the text on almost every page. This first novel is a promising debut. Eleanor’s concerns, not only about her babysitter, but also about playmates, friends and a new school year will be familiar to readers, who will look forward to hearing more about her life. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8109-8424-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more