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by Liz Flanagan

illustrated by Martina Peluso


School Library Journal:

(The following is a combined review for Dara’s Clever Trap: A Story from Cambodia; The Princess of the Springs: A Story from Brazil; and ) Gr 1–3— Princess stories for emerging readers are high in demand, and refreshingly, this new series features a diverse cast of princesses from around the world. Dara’s Clever Trap, set in Cambodia, is the standout title. Princess Dara is an architect and falls in love with another architect, Rith. Evil arises from the jealous ministers who frame her husband and try to marry her for her riches. Using her problem-solving skills, Dara creates a mechanical trap that saves the day. The clearly written and easy-to-follow plot makes this story a wonderful choice for struggling readers, with the added bonus of STEM themes. The chapter-book length will also appeal to readers who are ready to move into longer books. Digitally rendered illustrations, enhanced with a warm palette and deft shading, support the text and aid in comprehension. Both titles are well designed and include a visual table of contents. The Princess of the Springs, set in Brazil, has less of a sense of place and is a bit more difficult to follow due to the lack of proper names. Everyone except the princess is a giant or giantess, either of the Sun, the Moon, or the Wind. Three significant plot points occur—a kidnapping, a remarriage, and the abandonment and rescue of the princess’s son. The events transpire too quickly and are not illustrated with the same attention to detail as in the first tale. While The Princess of the Springs doesn’t quite hit the mark, Dara’s Clever Trap is a solid choice for classroom or school libraries.—Sara Lissa Paulson, The American Sign Language and English Lower School, New York City –Sara Lissa Paulson (Reviewed January 1, 2015) (School Library Journal, vol 61, issue 1, p71)


1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, Ages 0-8, Education, Folklore, Women's Rights