Thursday, February 9, 2012

SPL Shelf Life [kids]

Kiss Me! (I’m a Prince!) by Heather McLeod, 30 pages.

Would you kiss a frog - even if it was a talking frog? No? Well, Ella didn’t feel like kissing one either. No matter that this frog had once been a prince who would be a king someday, and could offer her the life of a pampered princess – she wasn’t tempted, not even for a second!
When the prince described his former life, Ella was even less tempted. It turned out that the prince used to spend most of his day at the castle studying etiquette, warfare, international finances and languages. Ella didn’t think that sounded very interesting. Neither was she at all interested in wearing fancy dresses that had to be kept clean and unwrinkled everyday.
Ella and the frog became good friends, and soon, the he had to agree that Ella’s life (swimming and splashing about in the water, getting dirty in the sand and mud, exploring the world around her, playing hopscotch and other games) was much more fun than life at the castle.
Just as the frog began to forget about being a prince, however, a royal courtier arrived to take him home in a fancy horse-drawn carriage (no matter that he was still a frog, having been unsuccessful in finding anyone to kiss him).
But after a couple of weeks, he returned in the carriage, again asking Ella for a kiss. And this time, Ella agreed – to give a kiss of friendship - which un-enchanted the frog … and led to a surprising conclusion.
This untraditional retelling of The Frog Prince will delight children and keep them guessing until the end, and Brooke Kerrigan’s fun, expressive illustrations truly enhance this very entertaining story.
Kiss Me! (I’m a Prince!) is Thunder Bay resident (and former CBC radio host) Heather McLeod’s first book.
** Recommended for ages 4 to 8 years.

Princess to the Rescue, by Claudia Souza, 24 pages.

In traditional fairy tales, princesses usually need to be rescued from something. They don’t have horses or swords, and they are afraid of dragons and many other things. They get locked up in towers, put to sleep under evil spells, or kidnapped.
Not this princess! The feisty damsel featured in this story (who is never given a name) has already rescued a prince or two. (To be specific, she’s rescued a prince who’d been turned into a frog, a prince locked in a deep dungeon, another buried in a cave in a dark forest, and yet another who’d been kidnapped by an ogre.)
Well, why can’t a princess be brave and save someone?
Riding a beautiful horse, wearing custom-made armor and toting a big purse supplied with all sorts of “secret weapons”, our princess is more than a match for any mean-spirited dragon, troll, evil spell or prince who crosses her path. She doesn’t hesitate to ask for directions, either. (Would a prince do that?) And that’s a good thing, because she is about to meet her toughest challenge yet: a prince trapped in an ogress’s jewelry box!
A jewelry box? Not a cave or a dungeon … but a box?
Yes, a jewelry box! And it’s fortunate that our princess is here now to rescue this prince, because he’s just about to faint with fear!
Can she do it?
Well, readers can probably guess the end of this entertaining, amusing tale, which proves that girls too, can be heroes (or heroines)!
** Recommended for ages 4 to 7 years.

These reviews appeared in The Stratford Gazette on February 9, 2012. Written by Sally Hengeveld, Librarian.

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