The Red Prince

by Charlie Roscoe (Author) Tom Clohosy Cole (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

A dramatic tale of escape and unity set against a frozen landscape. When the young prince of Zapada is imprisoned by invaders, he needs all the help he can get to escape.

As he flees dressed in his red pajamas, his captors are hot on his heels. But soon he realizes that he is not alone.

The whole land of Zapada has joined forces to help him, each person dressing in red to confound and confuse his enemies.

This exciting tale of adventure and escape is brought to life by the illustrator of Wall.

Publishers Weekly

Game of Thrones this is not: debut author Roscoe and illustrator Cole (Wall) set this adventure in a modernish monarchy, and no one meets a gory end. But their story of a young prince defying an invading force while dressed in red pajamas certainly strives to tap into the high-stakes drama and chiaroscuro imagery of high fantasy. The invaders arrive as an eerie black-sail flotilla in the dead of a snowy night (one of Cole's many bravura nocturnal images) after the unsuspecting inhabitants have "shut their doors and lit their fires." Left alone by his parents, the Red Prince is captured and thrown into a dungeon, but he escapes with the help of his faithful dog, and a chase ensues across a frozen landscape. The people of Avala cleverly and sartorially rally to his cause, a turn of events that borrows a little from the classic "I am Spartacus" scene and a little from Where's Waldo? Roscoe and Cole never let things get too dark or dire for the young prince, but the cinematic imagery and breathless escapes should keep the target audience rapt. Ages 2-5. (Oct.)

Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

K-Gr 3--In the absence of a boy's royal parents, strangers have invaded the island kingdom of Avala and imprisoned the young prince. Shortly after this disheartening start, the boy and his dog manage to escape. As the prince makes his way to the capital, his distinctive red pajamas draw the attention of his pursuers. Fortunately, the people are willing to help, and in their final act of defiance, the nation unites to save its beloved royal; the predominant blues get swept away by a sea of red. At all times, the illustrator's digital coloring is dazzling and evocative, establishing a tone of tension and courage. Even the background color of the text boxes reflects this by changing to tonal hues. As a whole, the visuals have a cinematic quality; shots are nicely framed and showcase a variety of perspectives to pull readers in. While the narration only summarizes events, some sequential images do flesh out the details. Older readers will find it difficult to believe that a horde of unarmed people could possibly drive an armed force away so peaceably. However, those who accept the fairy tale-like setting will have no problem seeing the charm of this optimistic tale. VERDICT A visually stunning work about a brave young boy and a people who come together to defend him. Sure to satisfy fans of fairy tales.--Rachel Forbes, formerly at Oakville Public Library, Ont., Canada

Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Charlie Roscoe
Charlie Roscoe was raised in Brighton, England, studied in Scotland, and lives in London. He loves traveling, eating, writing, and reading. The Red Prince is his first book.

Tom Clohosy Cole studied at Kingston University and is the author-illustrator of Space Race and Wall. He lives and works in London.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
October 20, 2016
Age Range
2 - 5 years
Horn Book Guide
None None

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