cover image Buckle and Squash: The Perilous Princess Plot

Buckle and Squash: The Perilous Princess Plot

Sarah Courtauld. Feiwel and Friends, $14.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-250-05277-3

Absurdity reigns in Courtauld’s (On a Pirate Ship) boisterous, logic-warping fantasy, starring sisters Eliza and Lavender, who hail from a “village in the middle of nowhere, which was called the Middle of Nowhere.” While Eliza wants to battle dragons, fairy tale–obsessed Lavender aspires to marry a prince; in one of the book’s many hilarious moments, Courtauld offers scraggly pencil portraits of some of Lavender’s favorite royal dreamboats, including Prince Chlknklkgkfj the Unpronounceable and Prince Kanye the Anachronistic. Lavender’s quest to find her groom triggers a series of madcap incidents involving Mordmont, a villain scheming to kidnap and ransom a princess in order to pay his bills; when Mordmont’s bumbling minions mistake Lavender for a royal and deliver her to him, she in turn mistakes Mordmont for a prince turned beast, à la Beauty and the Beast. In the course of rescuing her sister, Eliza does in fact best a dragon (of sorts), and Lavender finds a prince (of sorts). Abundant wordplay, sarcastic footnotes, and a slew of out-of-left-field jokes make this book ideal for fans of Dav Pilkey, Andy Griffiths, or Lois Lowry’s The Willoughbys. Ages 7–10. (May)