In acclaimed graphic novelist Tom Gauld's first picture book for children, a little wooden robot embarks on a quest to find his missing sister-- making for a memorable contemporary bedtime story.
For years, the king and queen tried desperately to have a baby. Their wish was twice granted when an engineer and a witch gave them a little wooden robot and an enchanted log princess. There's just one catch, every night when the log princess sleeps, she transforms back into an ordinary log. She can only be woken with the magic words Awake, little log, awake. The two are inseparable until one day when the sleeping log princess is accidentally carted off to parts unknown. Now it's up to her devoted brother to find her and return her safely to the kingdom. They need to take turns to get each other home, and on the way, they face a host of adventures involving the Queen of Mushrooms, a magic pudding, a baby in a rosebush, and an old lady in a bottle.
This is acclaimed graphic novelist Tom Gauld's first picture book for children, inspired by a bedtime story he made up for his daughters. In his words, I was trying to make a book inspired by three different sets of books: The books that I remember enjoying as a child, the books that I watched my daughters enjoying, and the books I enjoy now as an adult. I wanted the book to have its own quirky feeling but also to function like a classic bedtime story.
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
This invented fairy tale by cartoonist Gauld (Mooncop, for adults) offers whimsy, imaginative power, and narrative poise. When a king and a queen longing for offspring each see an expert about the topic, an inventor creates a wooden robot, and a witch charms a log into a princess who has a secret: she turns back into a log if she falls asleep. Though the children are devoted to each other, the robot fails to conjure the princess anew one fateful morning ("Awake, little log, awake"), and a maid tosses the seemingly out-of-place log out the window. The robot gives chase as the princess hurtles downhill and into a gigantic boatload of lumber headed for the frozen North: "That log is the most precious thing in the world to me," he says, as he follows it on its journey. The rest of the story unfolds with amusing fairy-tale inevitability ("he had too many adventures to recount here" precedes a paneled page of humorous scenarios) as Gauld's stick-figure characters and clean, flat panel artwork deliver visual information with the detailed calm of a map or a set of instructions. Ages 4-8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Aug.)Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.