When Princess Minuette is brought to the castle of her uncle, "Sir Horace the Horrible," while her father, the king, has the flu, the warrior is not too happy to take care of her. Horace is big and hulking and far too busy with "dragons to slay, armies to vanquish" to take care of a little girl. The two are at odds, as Horace attempts to go about his usual duties, while Minuette remains lonely for her father. Horace, a bit of a show-off, can't believe that there is anything his brother can do better than he can, until he finally follows Minuette's directions and gives her a big hug. Ultimately, Horace realizes that perhaps he won't miss being "horrible" so much after all. Urbanovic's expressive illustrations fully capture the charm of this modern fairy tale. Minuette is a clever and winsome princess, and Horace is the ultimate, irascible-yet-lovable knave. Both will win the hearts of the intended audience. 2003, Cavendish Children's Books, Ages 4 to 7.
Micki S. Nevett
PreS-Gr 3-Princess Minuette is sent to stay with her uncle, Horace the Horrible, until her father recovers from the flu. When she wails for her daddy, Horace tries to comfort her by slaying a dragon, vanquishing an army, and saving a damsel in distress. However, none of his heroic deeds turns out quite as planned, and, in spite of all his attempts to make her feel better, Minuette still misses her father. What's a brave knight to do? The child provides the answer: she needs a hug. But can Horace the Horrible doff his armor and risk his reputation for one small girl? His answer surprises both of them. This is a rollicking, humorous tale, complemented by watercolor-and-pencil illustrations that are sure to set children giggling, particularly the picture of Horace in his long johns. Minuette's expressions are priceless, and her unruly hair and determination are reminiscent of Pippi Longstocking. The many full-page spreads paired with the sidesplitting text make this a fun read for storytime sharing. Audiences will be delighted as the gruff, intimidating knight is foiled and eventually defeated by a diminutive red-headed princess who knows her own mind.-Laurie Edwards, West Shore School District, Camp Hill, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
A big, irascible knight, renowned for dragon-slaying and army-vanquishing, gets turned around by a determined, lonely child. Sent away to keep her from catching her royal father's cold, Princess Minuette arrives unannounced at the castle door of Horace the Horrible. Greeting her admission that she misses her daddy by roaring that he's better than the king in every way, Horace carries her off to demonstrate his knightly prowess-but so distracted is he that comic disasters ensue. Getting him to notice at last that she's a "damsel in distress," Minuette persuades him to doff his armor-"Are you mad? I haven't had my armor off in public since I was a knave"-smell the flowers, and, best of all, give her a comforting hug. Huge, scowling, and armored like a tank, Horace towers over tiny Minuette in Urbanovic's cartoon illustrations, though even before he's down to his long johns it's plain that both, along with fiery tempers, share the same carrot-hued hair. A salutary reminder that heroic deeds aren't always the violent sort. (Picture book. 6-8)