The Princess and Her Panther

40p. 978-1-41699-780-1.
K-Gr 2—Imagination is at the heart of this book as two sisters set out to camp in their backyard. Their red tent becomes a royal shelter, the wading pool a lake, and the sandbox is the desert they toil across. The princess is stalwart, but her little sister, the panther, is unnerved when night falls. Orr's steady refrain is, "The princess was brave, and the panther tried to be," and the timidity of the panther is purposefully revealed in the rich acrylic illustrations. After one too many scares by neighborhood animals, the girls do not predictably retreat into the safety of the house but, instead, stand up to the night and are brave—both of them. The final spread shows that all is well in the tent, with a bright moon shining and the sisters contentedly asleep. This is a clever twist on the usual camping story and the fears that accompany it, and it pairs well with Margaret Ruurs's nonfiction When We Go Camping (Tundra) and Kristine O'Connell George's Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems (Clarion, both 2001).—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Two sisters, one dressed as a princess, the other as a panther, prepare for a backyard campout. "The princess was brave, and the panther tried to be" in the face of nocturnal animal sounds: "Too-whit-too-whoo...screechy hoo-hoo." Deep-hued, textured acrylics ably reflect the imaginative story's drama and its nighttime setting.

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