Editorial Review: Kris & The Missing Prince by Art Blegen

Editorial Review: Kris & The Missing Prince by Art Blegen

While most girls her age dream of being princesses, Kris would much rather be a knight. She gets an opportunity to make her dream come true while visiting her grandmother's farm and stumbling across a hidden kingdom deep in the woods. 

Kris & The Missing Prince is the first book in a charming new series by Art Blegen. Kris, a voracious reader, is raised by her dad after her mother died. When he has to leave for a work project, Kris is faced with the prospect of staying with her grandmother on her farm near the mountains for a whole month. For Kris, this means no friends, no baseball games, and no television, leaving her with only her books.

However, something magical happens when Kris gathers the courage to explore the woods near the farm. First, she meets a talking owl named Mr. Features, who she later learns is the forest's major. Eventually, Kris encounters a little elf named Gregory, who informs her that an evil gnome named Gnalath has captured the kingdom's prince and Mrs. Feathers. Kris soon learns that the woods are home to a strange world filled with all manner of creatures that she thought only existed in her imagination. Since Kris believes she is as much a knight as any boy, she jumps at the opportunity to go on a quest to rescue the missing prince from the evil gnome. Fortunately for Kris, she makes some new friends on the way, including a beaver, dwarf, fairy, and unicorn. During this quest, the group of friends learn to depend on each other and believe in their abilities.

Kris & The Missing Prince is aimed at readers aged six to ten, but the enchanting tale will put a smile on the faces of readers of all ages. Kris is a charming protagonist, and it is impossible not to root for her when she embarks on her adventure. The rest of the cast mainly consists of fantasy creatures, but the writing is so good that the story never feels derivative. Instead, readers are treated to a lighthearted tale with plenty of page-turning moments. Since it is a children's novel, there's never any real danger or serious risk involved, but the encounter with Gnalath has an exciting twist that young readers will love. 

Overall, Kris & The Missing Prince is a very wholesome book and will stimulate younger readers' imaginations. Even older readers who are already more familiar with some of the fantasy tropes in the story will enjoy this upbeat take on the genre. The story is fast-paced, engaging, and filled with memorable characters and situations. In addition, the illustrations at the start of each chapter also do a great job of portraying the characters.