cover image Honk, Honk! Hold Tight!

Honk, Honk! Hold Tight!

Jessica Souhami. Frances Lincoln/Otter-Barry (Quarto, dist.), $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-84780-540-9

Souhami (Foxy!) adds sparkle to a folktale found in several cultures, about a princess who never laughs. Princess Alice, a somber redhead, frowns as the king "tried everything he could think of to make her laugh," including riding a unicycle and spinning a plate on his nose. After a young man named Peter, en route to see the recalcitrant Alice, shows kindness to an elderly woman sitting along the road, she gives him a golden goose: "If anyone stretches out a hand towards the goose, it will cry, %E2%80%98Honk, honk!' and you must call %E2%80%98Hold tight!'%E2%80%8A" Gold accents make the goose pop from Souhami's paper collages, and Peter discovers that the goose's magic is such that everyone who points at the bird becomes stuck together in an ever-growing chain that includes a baker, a clown, and more. It's exactly what's needed to make the princess laugh, and a happy ending soon follows. Souhami's succinct writing is just right for storytime readalouds, but while her collages are skillfully executed, the goose's magical spectacle never feels outrageous enough to warrant the smiles and laughs it prompts from the princess. Ages 3%E2%80%936. (Aug.)