Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Birthday Ball Review

Book Talk: Princess Patricia Priscilla is not looking forward to her sixteenth birthday ball.  At it she will have to decide who to marry and each of her suitors is more repulsive than the next: Duke Desmond of Dyspepsia who is as ugly and irritable as a warthog and forbids all mirrors in his kingdom, Prince Percival of Pustula who has altogether too many mirrors and a heart as black as his oily hair, and the Conjoint Counts Colin and Cuthbert who never have enough time to care about something like mirrors because they are constantly squabbling.  So, Princess Priscilla decides to escape her boring castle life for one week before her ball and see what it's like to go to school as a normal village child.  Her birthday is fast approaching, but she doubts she will ever get her wish.

Rocks my Socks: This book was absolutely charming.  A light-hearted fairy tale full of rhymes, alliteration, and simple morals.  The characters are the kind of ridiculous caricatures you'd expect from a fairy tale and the ending and the whole story is satisfying in the simplicity with which it wraps up everyone's problems.  The illustrations by Feiffer are delightful and set the perfect tone.

Rocks in my Socks: The plot is definitely basic and predictable, but it's meant to be.  There wasn't anything to really sink your teeth into and all the characters and morals were pretty superficial, but that's also appropriate to the style Lowry seemed to be going for.

Every Book its Reader: I'd recommend it for children of all ages.  I don't know if many boys would read it based on its title and cover, but there's actually a fair amount of potty humor in there thanks to the twins (along with the much-needed moral that this isn't always appropriate) so I think that they'd enjoy it if they did pick it up.  For that reason it might make a good read-aloud book.  The book is, as I said, really basic and juvenile so I wouldn't recommend it to adults as a serious read, but because it's a very quick read it might be a fun few hours for adults wishing to reconnect with their inner child.

The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry, illustrated by Jules Feiffer
Buy it through indiebound or check it out at your local library

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