The Princess of 8th Street

Linas Alsenas, Author
Linas Alsensas. Abrams, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8109-8972-6
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As a make-believe Princess, Jane has plenty to do: having tea with her subjects (her dolls), managing the royal zoo (her collection of stuffed animals), and being a patron of learning and the arts. In reality, though, Jane is a lonely and shy girl who is easily intimidated by the “rough-and-tumble sports” of the playground. Just when Jane is at her lowest, she meets a kindred spirit—“Samantha, the Princess of 10th Street”—and they establish a joint kingdom and a fast friendship. Alsenas’s (Hello My Name Is Bob) narration has a lovely sense of formality that instantly establishes a sense of play and welcomes readers into Jane’s world (one can easily imagine Patrick Stewart intoning the words). The fine ink outlines and soft colors of Alsenas’s images exude a suitably regal deportment, although some readers may wonder whether there’s something physically wrong with Jane—she often looks uneasy and has difficulty running. But the joy in her face when she discovers a like-minded girl proves that connection is indeed a powerful tonic. Ages 4–8. Agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. (Nov.)
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