Iza Trapani is the best-selling author/illustrator of several children's books, including TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE STAR; I'M A LITTLE TEAPOT; THE ITSY BITSY SPIDER; and RUFUS AND FRIENDS: RHYME TIME. She lives in the Hudson Valley of New York.
Gr 1-4-Queen Estella and King Jared, beloved rulers of a generic kingdom, celebrate the birth of their daughter Lily with a party to which the sorcerer Maxum is not invited. Angered by his exclusion, the bitter old man decrees that one day he will spirit the child away to his icy realm. Lily, however, is protected by the magical Ring of Safekeeping, a gift from a mysterious old woman. On the inevitable day that the ring falls from her finger, the princess is taken to Maxum's castle. Although longing for her parents, she develops an affection for the lonely man and willingly agrees to spend every winter with him if he will allow her to return home for the remainder of the year. Framed, full-page, pastel-and-oil pencil paintings bordered in white alternate with pages of text framed by illustrations. Repetition of the flowing curves of Maxum's crystal ball and his long, dark cloak remind readers of the sorcerer's ever-watchful, malevolent presence. Unfortunately, the writing is not as strong as the artwork. Because of the derivative nature of this story, which synthesizes familiar motifs from "Sleeping Beauty," "Beauty and the Beast," "The Snow Queen," and the legend of Persephone, most libraries would do better to purchase additional picture-book editions of the original tales.-Ginny Gustin, Santa Monica Public Library, CA