Dangerously Ever After

illus. by Valeria Docampo. 40p. Dial. Sept. 2012. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8037-3374-9.
K-Gr 2—Princess Amanita loves dangerous things: her pet scorpion, her dagger collection and, above all, her garden of menacing and unusual plants. When Prince Florian arrives from a neighboring kingdom with a bouquet of pink roses, she doesn't quite know what to do with the unknown flowers; the buds promptly get put into some water so the dangerous thorns can be displayed. When a misunderstanding leads the prince to send Amanita nose plants instead of rose plants, she decides to take them back to his castle. Of course, once out of the safety of her home, she realizes that maybe she doesn't like danger as much as she thought. Luckily, the nose plants help lead her to the prince's castle where the noses and roses live happily ever after… and it's implied that so, too, do the prince and princess. Docampo's artwork is detailed with a whimsical French flair; it brings to mind the works of Nicoletta Ceccoli and Giselle Potter. Younger listeners will likely tire of the longer text, but older children will giggle at the snot joke and imaginative plant names. There is also a fun spread where the princess is exhausted by the nose plants' all-night sneezing; kids might be glad to see the slightly sullen and spoiled princess get her comeuppance. However, even with its lovely artwork, this title doesn't stand out from the pack of girl-power and princess books already flooding the shelves.—Laura Lutz, Pratt Institute, New York City
Princess Amanita delights in dangerous things, so the thorny stems of Prince Florian's roses win her over. She requests rose seeds from his gardener, but noses grow instead. On her perilous journey to return the noses, Amanita realizes that friendship might be as desirable as danger. The story is overly strange, but Docampo's art, with its razor-sharp lines and vivid colors, is eye-catching.

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