What do you get when you take one brave, big sister, one not-so-brave little sister, a spooky night-time backyard, and heaps of imagination? The most magnificent camp-out ever! The perfect story for chasing away the spooky shadows of the night. A warm assuring story accompanied by vibrant and rich illustrations.
About the Author
Wendy Orr was born in Edmonton, Canada, and spent her childhood in various places across Canada, France and the USA. She is the author of many award-winning books, including Ark in the Park, Peeling the Onion and Nim's Island, which was made into a feature film starring Abigail Breslin. The sequel, Nim at Sea, is also being made into a film. Wendy lives on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.
About the illustrator
Lauren Stringer was born in Great Falls, Montana, USA. She is an artist and sculptor, and has designed sets and costumes for performance art, dance and theatre. She has illustrated many beautiful books, including Mud, by Mary Lyn Ray, Snow, by Cynthia Ryland, and her own, Winter is the Warmest Season.
A brave princess sets off on a daring adventure with her not-so-brave panther. Her goal is to trek across desert sand and pitch a royally red tent in the woods. As the day progresses, they watch a brilliant sunset, see the sky take on a purple tinge, and observe the night creep in with all the blackness it has to hold. The princess maintains an air of bravery, while the panther keeps trying to do the same. However, colorful, softly-brushed illustrations show the panther's growing wariness. The princess proceeds to soothe the panther with a bedtime book and a light in the tent. But once the light dims, the hiss of "leaf-snakes" presses close to their tent, an owl-witch flies nearby, a croaking frog moans, and a wolf-dog treads heavily. Finally, the brave princess and the panther who is gaining bravery shout together to scare off all the spooky things, and they are allowed a night of sleep. Only on the last two pages do readers get to see that the brave princess and her panther are two imaginative sisters camping in their own backyard. This whimsical tale allows youngster to relate to the experience of sleeping outside overnight and to see that while doing so, it is okay to be somewhat frightened of the unknown. It also stresses that youngsters are capable of overcoming scary experiences. The book works well at capturing the essence of teaching a lesson while still being entertaining. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury
School Library Journal
Gr 2—Imagination is at the heart of this book as two sisters set out to camp in their backyard. Their red tent becomes a royal shelter, the wading pool a lake, and the sandbox is the desert they toil across. The princess is stalwart, but her little sister, the panther, is unnerved when night falls. Orr's steady refrain is, "The princess was brave, and the panther tried to be," and the timidity of the panther is purposefully revealed in the rich acrylic illustrations. After one too many scares by neighborhood animals, the girls do not predictably retreat into the safety of the house but, instead, stand up to the night and are brave—both of them. The final spread shows that all is well in the tent, with a bright moon shining and the sisters contentedly asleep. This is a clever twist on the usual camping story and the fears that accompany it, and it pairs well with Margaret Ruurs's nonfiction When We Go Camping (Tundra) and Kristine O'Connell George's Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems (Clarion, both 2001).—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
For Ages: 4 - 8 years old
Number Of Pages: 32
Published: 1st July 2010
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Dimensions (cm): 28.3 x 24.8 x 0.800
Weight (kg): 0.472