Yup, I’m still showing you some picture books from 2010.
Now, back in 2008, I didn’t cover here at 7-Imp There’s a Wolf at the Door: Five Classic Tales (Roaring Brook Press), written by Zoë B. Alley and illustrated by R.W. Alley. (I’ll throw in the cover below.) But I liked it an awful lot, this book that was also met with many starred reviews. (And I remember that Jama Rattigan covered it here in November of that year.) R.W. illustrated that title in a comic panel format. He and his wife Zoë returned to that format in last year’s There’s a Princess at the Palace: Five Classic Tales (published in September 2010, also by Roaring Brook), which I’m featuring today. And I like this companion book, too, which was also met last year with some excellent reviews. (“Smartly hysterical,” wrote Kirkus.) This book, like its predecessor, is over-sized (in both physical dimensions and in its sarcastic wit) and lots of clever fun.
Taking five classic fairy tales—Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Frog Prince, and The Princess and the Pea—the Alleys link them together as one large tale, while still respecting their respective fundamental plots. Booklist called it a “fractured and delightfully bewitched royal family record.” (For instance, Cinderella, aka Princess Ashley, and her prince charming, Prince Dennis, have a baby girl at the close of Cinderella, and at a celebration for the newborn, one elderly lady-slash-witch who wants to attend said celebration is spurned, so …well, you can guess which fairy tale is next. And it features Princess Dawn, the offspring of Cinderella/Ashley and Dennis, as Sleeping Beauty herself. And on it goes in this manner.)
These are detailed comic spreads, with lots of rip-roarin’ action in tiny, tiny panels with wry humor and snappy jokes in spades, as you can see in the spreads I’m sharing today. (Click each to enlarge slightly.) This isn’t necessarily your story-time read-aloud; it’s a grab-your-favorite-kid-and-plop-her-on-your-lap read-aloud, a book for poring over and reading slowly, savoring every speech balloon, each punny joke, and all the wise-guy commentary from the two mice who inhabit each story.
Here are some spreads. Again, click to enlarge slightly. (You’ll want to do so in order to read the text.) Enjoy.
THERE’S A PRINCESS IN THE PALACE: FIVE CLASSIC TALES. Copyright © 2010 Zoë B. Alley. Illustration © 2010 R.W. Alley. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Roaring Brook Press, New York, New York.
As a reminder, 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you.
1. Well, the announcement of the 2011 ALA Youth Media Awards this week was the biggest kick of all. Needless to say, given the focus on illustration and picture books here at 7-Imp, I was most eager to hear the Caldecott winner, and I was so thrilled it was Erin and Philip Steads’ A Sick Day for Amos McGee. Remember on another kickin’ Sunday way back in 2009 (version #122), dear kickers, when Erin stopped by to show us the book when it was still a work-in-progress? YES! It won! That Caldecott committee. So smart! I was so very excited that my family, building a snowman outside, heard me whoopin’ and hollerin’ from inside the house as soon as the Caldecott Honors were announced (seeing as how I’m a fan of Bryan Collier’s work and since I’ve been saying for years now that I want David Ezra Stein to get a Caldecott already.)
2. This month’s Nashville Kidlit Drink Night and talking about the big award winners over drinks with other children’s-lit enthusiasts.
3. Feeding blueberry pancakes and strong coffee to some new friends who visited — and who are undeniably lovely and fun people.
4. Finally saw Winter’s Bone, which so many film critics named as their top 2010 film. Good stuff. There was a pivotal scene in the movie (hinted at in the movie poster) that I won’t forget for a long, long time. And John Hawkes as Teardop? So. very. good.
That’s about it this week. Really, the Caldecott announcement took care of the rest of my kicks!
What about you? What are YOUR kicks this week?