cover image Smile, Principessa!

Smile, Principessa!

Judith Ross Enderle, Stephanie Jacob Gordon. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-1004-6

This familiar tale focuses on the child whose place has been usurped by the arrival of a baby brother. The camera-happy parents document each child's first days of life, as indicated by Enderle and Gordon's (Hide and Seek Turkeys) repetitious text: ""Papa took smiling pictures, crying pictures, eating pictures, sleeping pictures."" Curmi's witty illustrations provide some of the story's most memorable moments, from infant Principessa hold the tail of a displeased cat, to the dazed expression of little Bino. When those snapshots of Principessa suddenly decrease in favor of the more endearing younger brother, young readers may empathize with her retreat into the safe haven of her closet. Her parents' best efforts can't cajole her from the depths of her closet-and her foul mood. Rather, it's the presence of her new brother, eager to imitate his big sister, that reminds Principessa she too is loved. While this is an oft-told lesson, Curmi's smudgy pastel palette and expressive pencil lines, which ably capture a spectrum of childhood emotions, lend genuine resonance. Ages 3-6.