Amanda Craig reviews ("unsung hero") James Mayhew's Katie and the Spanish Princess for the Times. Here's the long and short of Katie and the Spanish Princess:
- "In Katie and the Spanish Princess, our heroine encounters a Velázquez portrait of the Infanta Margarita, a luminous blonde child in a stiff golden dress. The little girls become friends, and Katie swaps her red coat and jeans for the Infanta’s costume. Enjoying the contrast, the two little girls visit Goya’s little boy with a magpie, and he, too, comes alive. The magpie flies out, snatches a jewel from the Infanta’s dress, and is lost. As the children chase the bird from painting to painting they chat to peasants by Murillo, before being told off by the Princess’s father, (one of Velázquez’s portraits of Philip lV)."
- Mommy?, art by Maurice Sendak, scenario by Arthur Yorinks, paper engineering by Matthew Reinhart ("Some may find the tale embodied in its pop-ups, if not eye-popping, then somewhat disquieting; some may find it hilarious. Whatever way it resounds, this is a thought-provoking new book from a master storyteller and his colleagues")
- So Sleepy Story, by Uri Shulevitz ("A lovely companion piece to Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight Moon")
- Jurassic Poop: What Dinosaurs (and Others) Left Behind, by Jacob Berkowitz, illustrated by Steve Mack ("Puns seem to be a favourite mode of expression, and what my mother used to describe as lavatory humour, both visual and verbal, is much in evidence here")
- The Braid, by Helen Frost ("an interesting and accomplished experiment in poetry")
- What Happened This Summer, by Paul Yee (in this "collection of linked short stories, Paul Yee delivers a gritty, often bleak view of the lives of ethnic Chinese teens living in Canada")