It's possible that with some of my selections I may be stretching the "decidedly urban" tagline of my blog just slightly. But you'll forgive me, right?
In Megan McDonald's The Hinky-Pink we travel to the Florence of Old Italy where Anabel (alas, not Anabella) dreams, not of being a princess, but of the day when she will make a dress for a princess. It's a sensible dream.
Fairy tale lovers will like this one, as will those who enjoy a good, unexpected twist on the more conventional tale. Anabel has been charged with making a dress for the Princess to wear to the Butterfly Ball. However, in order to do so, she must get a good night's sleep, something the Hinky Pink's pinches are preventing. Fortunately, Anabel is clever, as well as sensible, and outsmarts the Hinky Pink.
At the risk of sounding as if I codify books by gender (which I do not), I will say that until now I only knew the author through her "boy" book series about Judy Moody's younger brother, Stink. Likewise I was familiar with Brian Floca's illustrations from several brilliant books about transportation. So it was nice for me to read something a bit more "girly." Are you still with me?
Other than in the opening layout, the city of Florence, or Firenze, as it is labeled in the book, is firmly in the backdrop. Floca cleverly locates Anabel in the larger cityscape with a small word bubble coming from her room. In addition, her position in the tower during her employment as dressmaker-to-the-princess situates her as both of and removed from the city at large.
I'm pretty sure you'll like this one.
Visit either the author's website or the illustrator's website.
If you want an in-depth review read Elizabeth Bird's (of the blog Fuse #8) review on the Amazon page.
Big Kid says: That was so silly.