The Silk Princess. By Charles Santore. Random House. $17.99.
Princess Baby. By Karen Katz. Schwartz & Wade. $14.99.
The only thing puzzling about The Silk Princess is its age target of 3-7. Charles Santore’s book is too sophisticated for most children in that age range (certainly at the lower end of it), and his gorgeous illustrations may not be fully appreciated by kids under the 8-12 age range. This is a dreamlike story about a crucial occurrence in ancient
Princess Baby is charming, too, but in a different way. Intended for very young children, ages 1-5, it is the cute and simple story of a baby who objects to being called by all the usual endearments that adults use when addressing her. She is not a buttercup, cupcake or little lamb, she says, and Karen Katz’s adorable illustrations of these and other things that she is not are irresistible. The baby insists that people call her by her “real” name – which is, of course, Princess Baby. Decked out in sparkly gold crown and shoes, wearing a fancy dress and a cape, Princess Baby needs to “make sure that everyone in my kingdom is happy” by giving bottles to all her dolls and stuffed animals; and all is well until her parents come to her room and start calling her the wrong things: Creamsicle, Peanut, Missy Muffin. “Please call me by my real name!” says Princess Baby – and when her parents do just that, everything ends happily. This is the first book of a planned series, which has the potential to offer heaping helpings of cuteness if Katz continues it as she has begun it.