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Myra here.

This book called out to me when I was hunting down titles for our current theme. The book cover reminded me of Tim Burton and the furry multi-coloured tail simply begged to be discovered within the pages, so I took it home, and I am glad I did.

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Imagine being a young Prince in a kingdom where “smogafiers” blot out the sun and a scheming Royal Color Catcher wipes out everything that is bright and shining to be painted over with shades of gray. And it’s your birthday. No wonder Prince Viridian is miserable.

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His father, King Cerulean has decreed all colors to be banned from the kingdom as he mourns the death of Queen Perylene who used to love all colors. Just goes to show how royal declarations can be petty and absurd on occasion. When the guests arrived (such as the Duchess of Humdrum, the Archdule of Monotonous, and the Baroness of Blah), the mournful King gave his son a plaintive greeting, and the licorice-flavored gray birthday cake was sliced and distributed to all guests.

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The party started becoming interesting, though, when a chest arrived from out of nowhere and a multi-coloured furry creature sprang out of it. How this would change everything in Prince Viridian’s kingdom, I shall leave for you to discover.

I enjoyed how Anderson showed his skill in wordsmithing (viridian, cerulean, perylene) plus his artwork that reminded me a little bit of The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy with the protruding eyeballs, the predominantly-monochrome theme, and fabulous new words invented (wooglefoof, smogafiers). While pretty text-heavy compared to most picturebooks, there are gorgeous spreads with absolutely no words, allowing the panels and the constant movement to tell the narrative.

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Definitely a book worth exploring and finding.

The Prince’s New Pet by Brian Anderson. A Neal Porter Book, Roaring Brook Press, 2011. Book borrowed from the library. Book photos taken by me.

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Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Singapore. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she serves as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads or meeting up with her book club friends, she is smashing that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life.

1 comment on “A Splash of Colours in Brian Anderson’s “The Prince’s New Pet”

  1. This sounds great! 🙂

    Like

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