From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1—Princess Justina Albertina likes getting her own way. Her nanny, when faced with a choice between a headache-inducing royal tantrum or giving in to the princess's demands, always caves. So when the youngster insists on getting the perfect pet, her nanny does her best to oblige, scouring the Earth for unusual animals. None of them is quite right, though: the puffer fish ignores the princess, she cannot ride the two-headed dog, and the monkey scares too easily. Finally, the nanny returns with a fierce gryphon, which the princess declares is perfect. This time, however, Princess Justina Albertina has bitten off more than she can chew, with tragic results. The book's cover hints at what is to come: while the princess dances in the background, a grim-faced nanny holds up a sign that reads, "A Cautionary Tale." Humorous details pack the cartoon illustrations, which are done with a mix of watercolor, colored pencil, and gouache. The nanny's outfit changes for each expedition: lederhosen for the unicorn, a wet suit for surfing Australia's shark-infested waters. The princess is frankly repulsive, with buck teeth, a piggy nose, and fierce green eyes glaring through round glasses. Nanny and the rejected pets clearly find her intimidating. The busy spreads contrast well with the dramatic conclusion, in which the nanny is left standing all alone, saying "Oh, dear." The end result is a deliciously satisfying tale about the dangers of acting like a spoiled princess.—Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County Library System, Portland, OR
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About the Author
Ellen Dee Davidson is the author of Stolen Voices (Lobster Press). Princess Justina Albertina is her first picture book. She lives in Bayside, California. Visit her online at www.ellendeedavidson.com.