cover image Grilled Cheese and Dragons

Grilled Cheese and Dragons

Nancy Krulik, illus. by Ben Balistreri. Penguin Workshop, $6.99 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-0-515-15831-1

Born Serena, the rowdy princess of Empiria prefers a name that better suits her temperament: Princess Pulverizer. In this very funny series kickoff, Krulik tackles sexist double standards and plays with fantasy tropes as the princess attempts to become one of her father’s Knights of the Skround Table (“perfectly square, but with carefully rounded corners. Skround”). Before she can enter Knight School, she must complete eight good deeds as part of a Quest of Kindness—easier said than done. Princess Pulverizer only succeeds in achieving one good deed in this outing (though she does befriend a timid knight and burp-prone dragon while trying to escape an ogre), giving readers plenty to look forward to in future installments. Exuberant cartoons from newcomer Balistreri, an animation veteran, add to the story’s big sense of fun. Ages 6–8. [em]Author’s agent: Kenneth Weinrib, Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo. (Jan.) [/em]