The Princess and the Presents

Caryl Hart, Author, Sarah Warburton, Illustrator
Caryl Hart, illus. by Sarah Warburton. Candlewick/Nosy Crow, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-7398-7
Reviewed on: 06/09/2014
Release date: 08/26/2014
Hardcover - 30 pages - 978-0-85763-260-9
Hardcover - 30 pages - 978-0-85763-302-6
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In this companion to Hart and Warburton’s The Princess and the Peas (2013), Princess Ruby is a “horrid child” who gets whatever she wants, especially on her birthday: “I need a new tiara to wear each day at school./ And a pony and some roller skates and lots and lots of jewels.” Since setting limits is apparently an alien concept in her kingdom, her father, the king, heads out with “a suitcase full of cash” to get the requested birthday loot. Ruby is obviously cruising for a lesson in “what really matters,” and she gets it when her many acquisitions literally come crashing down around her. Hart’s rhyming text offers no surprises, and readers may grow impatient as they wait for a twist or joke that never materializes. The momentum comes almost entirely from Warburton’s predominantly pink images, which have the look of spun- sugar confections dreamed up by slightly batty pastry chef. Warburton’s gift for visual winks and nudges serves the story well, bringing lightness and humor to the message-heavy verse. Ages 3–7. (Aug.)
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