cover image King Alice

King Alice

Matthew Cordell. Feiwel and Friends, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-25004749-6

Alice’s father emerges foggily from his bedroom one morning to greet his daughter. (She, her mother, and baby sibling have brown skin, while the rumpled dad has white skin and Fred Flintstone–style stubble.) “Morning, Alice,” he mumbles. “KING Alice! The First!” she corrects. It’s a snow day, and after casting about for amusements, the two laboriously write and draw a book about King Alice, chapter by chapter, leaving it (“Okay, I’m bored now”) and coming back to it (“IDEA!”) throughout the day. Caldecott Award–winner Cordell (Wolf in the Snow) mimics child-style print and crayon drawings for a tale that features knights, pirates, and unicorns. Alice’s story—and her story’s story—get their laughs from close observation. Cordell knows how children speak (“I’m so, so, so, so, so sorry I bonked you with my unicorn, Daddy”), what they like to do (“Let’s make... super-sparkly strawberry muffins again!”), and how their stories sound (“King Alice yelled, ‘This is some delicious tea!’ ”). Readers will treasure their time with Alice’s father, who allows his daughter to be exactly who she is, and King Alice, who leads her family on adventures even when they don’t leave the house. Ages 3–5. [em](Sept.) [/em]