The Princess in Black Takes a Holiday
Shannon & Dean Hale and LeUyen Pham
Princess Black has a double identity moving between Princess Magnolia and her black clad alter ego and it’s a pretty full-on, hard going existence and one that causes her to pay the penalty of a lack of a decent night’s sleep.
Now her slumbers are disturbed once again and having donned her transforming dark disguise, despite near exhaustion, she’s ready to leap into action once more.
Consequently when the Goat Avenger (who bears a close resemblance to her pal Duff the goat boy), offers to take over goat-guarding
and keep watch against marauding monsters, thus allowing the black sporting princess to take a much needed holiday, she cannot resist the opportunity.
Bags packed, Princess Magnolia is off on her bike to the seaside.
However her much-needed rest and relaxation are short lived for even on the beach, a monster shows up, emerging from the waves to cause havoc and scare the sunbathers out of their wits.
Time, (while Goat Avenger is still bravely playing the hero back home), to grab that black garb, step up and do battle with the brute.
Of course, in the end, our resourceful princess does finally get that much-needed holiday sans monsters, sans screaming humans, just her and sand, sea, sunshine and the odd bit of shade courtesy of a few coconut palms.
Brimming over with action, humour –due occasionally to the princess not recognising her friends, as well as monsters of the not really scary variety, the Hale partnership has penned another great chapter-book adventure story for readers just flying solo that’s bursting with engaging, action-packed illustrations from LeUyen Pham to smile at. Equally though, plenty of in-built sound effects to let rip with, make it a super read aloud.
Also ideal for new solo readers is:
Hubert and the Magic Glasses
Candice Lemon-Scott and Joe Spellman
New Frontier Publishing
When it comes to soccer, young Hubert’s skills as goalie for the under 12s Goodview Primary Able Ants team leave a lot to be desired: at best he’s mediocre. But then his team itself isn’t likely to be under enormous pressure in their next match when they take on the Wandering Wombats, reputedly the worst team in the district.
We first meet Hubert as he sits in the changing room struggling to tie his own boot laces, so nervous is he feeling while the other players are already on the field warming up. However despite the lad letting several goals in, his team does manage to win that match.
Next, Hubert’s team have to play in the quarter finals – a real challenge against a decent team – but then at dinner Hubert is faced with yet another problem when his mum announces that she’s made an appointment for him to see an optometrist.
The verdict? Astigmatism and Hubert is prescribed glasses: he’s not happy.
Just over a week later though, as he’s attempting to eat his breakfast Hubert is finally persuaded to put on his glasses and from then on everything in his life takes on an altogether different view.
With a new version of their goalie, can the Able Ants eventually win through: after all those glasses of Hubert’s aren’t just ordinary ones.
Issues of confidence building, team relationships, taking charge of your life, peer pressure and more are embraced in this amusing pacy narrative that has cool colour illustrations by Joe Spellman sprinkled throughout.