Penguin Random House
Hardcover | $14.99
Published by Candlewick
Sep 25, 2018
Without a doubt this series is one of the most popular with our newly independent readers. There is rarely a copy left in the series box and also sold out rapidly at our recent book fair. They are not just the right level for these readers but have some vibrant illustrations and contain some great incidental information or concepts.
As one might guess by this title this one has some very useful science embedded in the wacky story line of a volcano experiment gone wrong after having some monster hair added to its mix. Luckily Princess Magnolia forgets her nervousness about her seeds and plants poster, zips into her Princess in Black alter-ego and along with her scientifically minded princess friends is able to resolve the problem satisfactorily.
This series has shed an entirely new light on princesses (they are far removed from the Disney variety) with resourcefulness, resilience and cooperation to the fore and also embrace an inclusive slant with their depiction of the various girls.
All in all it has a lot to offer for young readers with fun as well as some great values.
Highly recommended for readers from around six years upwards.
May 1, 2017
Australian RRP: $14.99
Vivian French has put her skills of lively and fun storytelling to work in this new book which stirs up lots of elements from favourite fairy tales. Readers will find a cranky king, a hysterical queen, seven princesses (six nasty and one not), a mean governess, dwarves, giants, fairy godmothers, a hideous hag, a talking cat and MOST importantly a librarian!
Princess Peony is the misfit in her family. She does not want the frilly dresses and expensive shoes her greedy sisters are always sniping about. She does not want to be cooped up in the palace. She certainly does not want to remain ignorant her entire life. When she and her sisters are taken to the local library, the older princesses are scathing and rude but Peony is fascinated and immediately wants to borrow her first book. However, whisked away by her governess and trying to speak up leads to trouble for the librarian Mr Longbeard as he replies to her. It’s not until four years later that Peony realises that her father has had the poor librarian locked up in the dungeons.
Rescuing Mr Longbeard – and the library – becomes Peony’s first mission but the arrival of a royal baby boy and the planned extravagant christening complicate matters. Everybody knows that you simply cannot leave the bad fairy, Hag, off the guest list but King Thoroughgood thinks he knows everything.
Peony not only rescues Mr Longbeard and another new friend from the dungeons but saves her baby brother from the wicked fairy just in time!
This is a great read for newly independent readers from around seven years up. Lots of fun with a resilient, quick witted and kind hearted girl in the hero’s role.
Distributor: Walker Australia-HEDS
April 1, 2017
Australian RRP: $19.99
New Zealand RRP: $22.99
Newbery medallist Laura Amy Schlitz and Caldecott Medalist Brian Floca have teamed up to produce this absolutely delightful easy chapter book about a sweet little princess and a rather roguish crocodile.
Most little girls would love to be a princess but they would surely change their mind if they had to be Princess Cora. Her mother and father have very definite views on how their only child should be raised to take up her position. Her father says Princesses must be strong so Cora must skip rope for hours. Her mother says Princesses must be knowledgeable so poor Cora has to stew over the most boring books ever every afternoon. And her Nanny says Princesses must be clean so three baths a day it is for Cora. The poor thing has no time to play or do anything that is remotely fun. (Sounds like so many children who are so booked up with activities, they have no time to just be kids!)
She really wishes she had a little dog. At least that would be company and good fun.
So Cora writes a letter to her godmother – and as all good fairy godmothers would there is a swift response. But Cora’s desired pet is not a dog – it’s a crocodile!
You can well imagine the resulting chaos when the crocodile, determined to help Cora, sets about ‘fixing’ things for her.
Like all good fairy tales, this has a happy and humorous ending for all. This is simply great fun throughout with terrific illustrations and beautiful presentation.
Highly recommended for readers from about 6 to 9, I foresee this will be a big hit in our library next term.