Friday, October 13, 2017

His Royal Highness, King Baby

His Royal Highness, King Baby: A Terrible True Story. Sally Lloyd-Jones. Illustrated by David Roberts. 2017. Candlewick Press. 48 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Once upon a time, there was a happy family: a mom, a dad, a gerbil, and the most beautifulest, cleverest, ever-so-kindest Princess with long, flowing wondrous hair. (In fact, actually she is ME!)

Premise/plot: A big sister hates her new baby brother. Will these two ever be friends?

My thoughts: I liked this one. The focus is on two siblings. We have the big sister princess who goes from being the center of attention to an orphan servant girl, from her perspective. We have the baby brother, the "King Baby," who undeservedly takes all the attention even though he is horrible and boring and obnoxious, from her perspective. Readers always know exactly what this princess is thinking by paying attention to her ART. (Children may get the giggles by all the drawings of baby bottoms and POOP).

Speaking of art, in addition to the sister's art throughout we have the illustrations by David Roberts. I would hope Roberts' illustrations place this book firmly in the 1970s. Or else there's no excuse for this royal family's taste. I think my favorite thing is that the Princess' long, flowing hair is in reality a pair of hose. In every single picture, this child is wearing HOSE on her head. (To play a fairy, she switches to green tights.)

Honestly, I'm not sure what to make of the illustrations. On the one hand, they are not my style at all. All the characters have rosy cheeks, for example, and none of the characters look attractive (passably attractive.) On the other hand, the characters do have this over-the-top vintage vibe going for them. And the CLOTHES are out of sight.

Back to the text, this one is very wordy and descriptive. This one would probably be better for K-2 than for younger preschool. (Unless your child is gifted with a long attention span).

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 7 out of 10

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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