Victorious—it may even usurp King & King (2001) as the premier queer-friendly fairy tale for this age set.

PRINCE & KNIGHT

From the Prince & Knight series , Vol. 1

A prince of marriageable age looks far and wide for a partner who sings the same tune.

“Handsome and sincere,” the prince accompanies his parents to meet ladies from nearby kingdoms. While the royals are away, a fire-breathing dragon ravages their home kingdom. The prince races home to protect his realm only to find a knight in shining armor battling alongside him. The two work together to defeat the dragon, but in the process, the prince loses his grip and nearly falls to his doom. The visored knight sweeps in to catch the prince, takes off his helmet to reveal his identity, and the two instantly realize their connection. Villagers and royals alike cheer for the two men’s relationship and, soon, wedding. Lewis’ lush colors and dramatic sequencing clearly show her background in animation and lend a timeless, Disney-like quality to the story. The art notably does not shy away from depicting the intimacy between the men, keeping it on par with images of heterosexual relationships that already dominate children’s media. Though the royal family is white, the happy villagers and the prince’s new betrothed add some necessary racial diversity to the mix.

Victorious—it may even usurp King & King (2001) as the premier queer-friendly fairy tale for this age set. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0552-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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A sweet, if oft-told, story.

LITTLE BLUE BUNNY

A plush toy rabbit bonds with a boy and watches him grow into adulthood.

The boy receives the blue bunny for his birthday and immediately becomes attached to it. Unbeknownst to him, the ungendered bunny is sentient; it engages in dialogue with fellow toys, giving readers insight into its thoughts. The bunny's goal is to have grand adventures when the boy grows up and no longer needs its company. The boy spends many years playing imaginatively with the bunny, holding it close during both joyous and sorrowful times and taking it along on family trips. As a young man, he marries, starts a family, and hands over the beloved toy to his toddler-aged child in a crib. The bunny's epiphany—that he does not need to wait for great adventures since all his dreams have already come true in the boy's company—is explicitly stated in the lengthy text, which is in many ways similar to The Velveteen Rabbit (1922). The illustrations, which look hand-painted but were digitally created, are moderately sentimental with an impressionistic dreaminess (one illustration even includes a bunny-shaped cloud in the sky) and a warm glow throughout. The depiction of a teenage male openly displaying his emotions—hugging his beloved childhood toy for example—is refreshing. All human characters present as White expect for one of the boy’s friends who is Black.

A sweet, if oft-told, story. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-72825-448-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

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A delightful new series gets off to a charming start.

CORNBREAD & POPPY

From the Cornbread and Poppy series , Vol. 1

Two mouse best friends approach life differently.

Cornbread’s an organized, detail-oriented planner; he gathered his winter food supplies and stocked his shelves in advance: No risk taker, he. Not so pal Poppy. She’s always busy biking, hiking, and having adventures. “Nah, I’ll do it later,” is her motto. Unfortunately, she realizes too late that “later” has arrived and she’s got nothing put by. After searching, she and Cornbread discover there’s no food left anywhere. The only solution, Poppy concludes, is to forage on Holler Mountain, a dreaded place where no one dares venture. Cornbread doesn’t want Poppy to make the fearsome trek alone, so they bravely climb together. The terrified pair have some very unexpected encounters, including with a long-presumed-gone friend, who happens to possess a vast supply of food, which she generously shares with Poppy. When they arrive home, Cornbread’s perspectives on fun have changed! This cute, easy chapter book is a gently humorous tale about steadfast friends with opposite personalities. The bond between the murine buddies is sweet and convincing, and children will enjoy the friends’ lively exploits. Cordell’s trademark loose artwork, rendered in pen and ink with watercolor, is energetic and wonderfully captures gray Cornbread’s and tan Poppy’s activities, easy camaraderie, and expressive faces. Many illustrations appear as panels and insets. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A delightful new series gets off to a charming start. (Early chapter book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-7595-5487-0

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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