Saturday, August 31, 2013
The Wolf Princess, by Cathryn Constable
A cute little book in that grand tradition of English Public School Kids Take a Trip Into a Magical Kingdom. This one stays a bit harder on the realistic side with suitable attention to Russian history, current events, and language (plenty of decent Russian phrases litter the book and a useful glossary at the end provides definitions). The magic, mostly involving communing with the animal kingdom, is suitably kid friendly and harmless. The most fantastic element of the story is of course the fact that the kids are basically outside of adult supervision altogether (the English seem as devoted in their literature to putting their young children in harm's way as the Scandinavians!). Being away from parents won't bother the target audience. Young readers will mostly enjoy a gentle fantasy adventure.
[Disclosure: This came to me as an unsolicited ARC, which I'll recycle. The actual book is not released until September 24th.]