Saturday, September 7, 2019

Review - The Evil Princess vs. the Brave Knight

The Evil Princess vs. the Brave Knight
by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm
Date: 2019
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

For every parent tired of telling their kids to PLEASE JUST GET ALONG, this hilarious and imaginative new picture book--from the beloved creators of Babymouse--is here to help. Sort of.

Meet the Evil Princess and the Brave Knight. She casts terrible spells, while he fights dragons. He rescues cats in distress, while she makes mischief. No wonder there isn't much peace in this kingdom! But is the Evil Princess really so evil? And is the Brave Knight truly as chivalrous as he seems? Children and parents will laugh at seeing familiar family dynamics play out in this charming and imaginative new story.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is one of those picture books that's nostalgic for adults remembering their own days of sibling rivalry, but pretty much useless as a decent story for children.

The Evil Princess and the Brave Knight are siblings who just can't get along. They fight constantly, so they get sent to their rooms. Upon being released, they're bored... so they decide to go on a quest. They rescue a "maiden" who doesn't need to be rescued, flood the bathroom, and then blame it on the cat. They're forced to clean up anyway, and promptly fall back into their old rivalry and behaviour (which, quite frankly, could hurt someone).

The characters don't learn anything. They're still doing the same things they were doing at the beginning of the book. I know my parents wouldn't have put up with me trying to physically hurt my sister, and I don't like seeing that sort of behaviour depicted in a children's book with no consequences and no character growth. It's not funny (except maybe for adults who are remembering their own childhood brawls).

I'm seeing way too many children's picture books lately that aren't really suitable for children. Authors who are nostalgic about their own childhoods should go reread their favourite picture books or write a full-length memoir... not write allegories about their own bad behaviour and try to pass them off as picture books for kids.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall Rating: 2.33 out of 5 ladybugs

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