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Princess Bun Bun

by Richard Scrimger, Gillian Johnson, illus.

Say the word “castle” and kids think of towers, moats, princesses, and knights. Toronto author Richard Scrimger plays with these magical elements in his latest picture book, Princess Bun Bun. In this delightful sequel to Bun Bun’s Birthday, the family is visiting Uncle Dave in Castle Apartments. Bun Bun, whose real name is Brenda, has just learned to walk and she toddles into the elevator. Her big sister Winifred steps inside with her just as the doors of the elevator close, leaving the rest of the family behind. When the elevator doors open on various floors, Winifred and Bun Bun encounter a monster (a dog), a witch (an old lady), and a princess (the girl-next-door), before a knight (Uncle Dave) rescues them.

Scrimger has taken the ordinary experience of going up an elevator and turned it into a fairy-tale adventure with amusing action and dialogue. The events are almost plausible from a child’s point of view, yet the story is fresh and fun, and can be enjoyed many times over. Plus, Scrimger provides parents with the opportunity to talk about what Winifred might have done, or what their child might do in a similar situation.

The watercolour illustrations, by Gillian Johnson, are skilfully rendered in a delicate warm palette. Her whimsical style adds energy to this magical adventure, although her princess is portrayed in a rather ordinary and unprincesslike fashion. This charming book is recommended for all fairy-tale fans.