FICTION

The Newest Princess

Little Simon. (Itty Bitty Princess Kitty). Feb. 2020. 128p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781534454941; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9781534454934.
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K-Gr 3–Itty Bitty Kitty lives in Lollyland, a magical kingdom where candy and sweet treat landscapes feature prominently (though fruits and vegetables also grow in Goodie Grove). Inhabitants include other friendly animals, small fairies, talking flowers, and singing mermaids. As the daughter of King and Queen Kitty, Itty Bitty is excited when a messenger fairy announces her eighth shooting star is approaching, signaling the start of Itty Bitty’s role as a princess. Upon learning all of the duties of a traditional princess, Itty Bitty grows increasingly reluctant and fears she is not princess material after all. She enjoys choosing a tiara and considering new wardrobe options, but is dissatisfied with the prospects of a new hairstyle, a new bedroom, and private tutoring. Itty Bitty Kitty’s world will find an audience with fans of Daisy Meadows’s “Rainbow Magic,” though Stubbings’s illustrations create an adorably rounded, comically cute cartoon quality that differentiates this title from other sugary-sweet early chapter books. The story is simple and innocuous, but children will relate to Itty Bitty’s trepidation about unanticipated developments, paired with her delight in more palatable adjustments like new clothes. All is resolved quite easily when Itty Bitty’s parents explain that she doesn’t have to make any changes she doesn’t want to make. Readers’ experiences with change won’t always work out this way, but the positive underlying message is about being true to oneself.
VERDICT A fine purchase for medium-sized early chapter book collections, notable for its spirited illustrations.

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