KidLit Book Review: How to Cook a Princess by Ana Martínez Castillo and Laura Liz


Synopsis

Gingrich the Witch takes her cooking very seriously, from the perfect utensils — cages and cauldrons — to the perfect recipes — a Sleeping Beauty omelet or a Cinderella hamburger… Follow along as she prepares her favorite “legendary” meals.


Details

  • Title: How to Cook a Princess
  • Series: Nubeclassics
  • Author: Ana Martínez Castillo
  • Illustrator: Laura Liz
  • Publisher: NubeOcho
  • ISBN: 849469264X
  • Publication Date: August 28, 2018
  • For Ages: 6-10
  • Category: Picture Book
  • Spooky-Scary or Spooky-Fun? 🎃 Fun.

I’d like to thank NubeOcho for providing an advance copy via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review.


Review

Wry and dark, How to Cook a Princess is a hilarious how-to book for fairy tale fans who always find themselves rooting for the wicked witch. Ana Martínez Castillo’s bone-dry humor is thrilling for macabre readers who have grown tired of a world filled with happily ever afters, and illustrator Laura Liz’s irreverent character work and muted color palette bring this witchy cookbook to life in a perfect marriage of creepy and uproarious.

Gingrich the witch is the toast of the witching world: her princess recipes are legendary, but she has never before shared exactly how she cooks her delicious royal meals. In this book she finally breaks her silence, and the results are side-splitting. Some of her recipes include: the Goldilocks Sausage Roll, the Sleeping Beauty Omelet, the Cinderella Burger, and the Rapunzel Salad. I had to take a break for several minutes when I reached this point, because I was laughing way too hard:

How-to-Cook-a-Princess-Rapunzel-detall

The art matches the deadpan perfection of the text. One of my favorite things in the world is a character who only seems mildly put out by the utterly horrifying situation in which they find themselves. For example, take a look at Little Red Riding Hood’s grandma. She’s sitting in boiling soup about to be devoured by a bloodthirsty witch, but she looks like her favorite TV show just got preempted by a news alert about a turtle that escaped from the zoo.

How-to-Cook-a-Princess-Grandma-Soup

I must admit that the age rating on the book has me a bit puzzled. This is a wordy book with extraordinarily dry humor rated for ages 6-10. I loved it, but I can’t imagine many 6-year-olds being entertained by it for very long. I used the age rating provided by the publisher in the Details section above, but I really think this is a book for older kids, maybe 10 years and up. There’s nothing inappropriate in here for younger kids; I just don’t know how long it will hold their attention.

How to Cook a Princess is a hilarious send-up of the happy princess stories so many of us grew up with and loved. Martínez and Liz hit the perfect tone with Gingrich the Witch, their cannibalistic Martha Stewart character proudly sharing her royal recipes with her adoring fans. Young readers looking for humorous alternatives to the ubiquitous princess and fairy heroines will find plenty to love here, and all fans of the dark and creepy should stop by Gingrich’s kitchen for a spooky treat. They won’t be disappointed.


Rating

I always knew there was more to that Rapunzel story. I give this book 4 out of 5 coffins.

4 Coffins


 

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