The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess

Recorded Bks. Jun. 2022. 11p. $7.99. ISBN 9781705070277.
PreS-Gr 4–Without the printed book in hand, the multiracial aspect of Gauld’s delightful kiddie debut isn’t clear in the audio alone. Enabling simultaneous reading with both eyes—Eisner Award–winning Gauld’s artistry is wonderfully inviting throughout—and ears makes for an ideal pairing. The tale opens with a portrait of a Black queen and a white king “who happily ruled a pleasant land, but they had no children.” With the help of the royal inventor and a clever witch, the king and queen become devoted parents to a robot prince and a log princess. Unintentional circumstances send the children on faraway adventures, but their eventual safe reunion ensures the familial happily ever after. London-based actor Jessica Hayles—herself multiracial—is a gently welcoming narrator, deftly ciphering appropriate voices from the kind witch to the exasperated maid, the lucky goblin to the helpful barge captain.
VERDICT Clever enchantment awaits.

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