It’s a well-told tale with an indefatigable heroine, and an interplay of words and pictures that feels as if it shares lineage with Quentin Blake and Roald Dahl.

The New York Times

Dulcinea in the Forbidden Forest

$24.99

Best Books for Kids 2021, The Sydney Morning Herald

A funny illustrated fairy tale for early readers about the brave and capable Dulcinea, who must save her father from the witch’s spell and get him home to celebrate her birthday.

Written and illustrated by Ole Könnecke, translated by Shelley Tanaka.

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  • Description

    A funny and contemporary illustrated fairy tale about a strong heroine who saves the day,
    perfect for early readers.

    Brave Dulcinea has known since she was small not to enter the dangerous magic forest where
    the witch has her castle. But her father hasn’t come home from collecting blueberries for her
    birthday pancakes. Did the witch cast a spell on him?

    Dulcinea must brave the dark forest and sneak into the witch’s castle to steal the spell book and
    free him. Her father would hardly have named her after the brave Dulcinea if she couldn’t
    break a witch’s spell to celebrate her birthday with him!

    Ole Könnecke’s funny, comic-style illustrations and humourous story turn the classic fairy tale
    on its head. Children aged 5 to 9, or young readers just starting out on independent reading,
    will love cheering on the brave and capable Dulcinea as she saves her father and gets him home
    just in time for pancakes.

    Translated from the German edition by Shelley Tanaka.

    “It’s a well-told tale with an indefatigable heroine, and an interplay of words and pictures that
    feels as if it shares lineage with Quentin Blake and Roald Dahl.” — The New York Times

    Ole Könnecke was born in Germany, and lives as an illustrator in Hamburg. He is also the
    German translator of Ulf Nilsson’s Detective Gordon chapter book series.

    Other books by Ole Könnecke:
    You Can Do It, Bert! Bank Street CBC Best Children’s Book of the Year
    The Big Book of Words and Pictures
    Sports Are Fantastic Fun
    Anton Can Do Magic

    Praise for Dulcinea in the Forbidden Forest
    “It’s a well-told tale with an indefatigable heroine, and an interplay of words and pictures that
    feels as if it shares lineage with Quentin Blake and Roald Dahl. A fine winter evening read-
    aloud, to be enjoyed next to a warm fire with a plate of cookies. Or, you know, “biscuits.” — The
    New York Times

    “This fairy tale is updated with some attitude and a gentle poking of fun at fairy-tale tropes.
    There are also some seriously funny illustrations. The juxtaposition of Dulcinea’s earnest, often
    deadpan mien and the witch’s over-the-top dramatic expressions is priceless.” — Kirkus
    Reviews

    “’Könnecke offers gentle comedy throughout: “Besides, nothing bad could happen to you on
    your birthday, could it?’ Concise chapters move the pace along as readers follow Könnecke’s
    inky, black-outlined art in a tale for those who love magic, fairy tales, and blueberries on their
    pancakes.” — Publishers Weekly


  • Book Details

    Country of Origin Germany
    Reader Age 6-8 year
    Book Size
    ISBN

  • Reviews

    1. Omnilibros

      The short chapters in this easy-to-read book are just right for young readers. The funny, inky black-outlined illustrations and the orange and brown palette perfectly enhance this hilarious, contemporary fairytale.

    2. Book Bound

      This is a gorgeous hardback that is a real treat for early chapter book readers, and not only is it rich in text, but it is also rich in illustrative content.

    3. Goodreads with Ronna

      A fairy tale told in chapters that feels like a classic. The comic-style art enhances the story’s warm humor. A well-made, timeless book.

    4. Midwest Book Review, Children’s Bookwatch

      The involving story will delight fans of fairy tales and fantasy, who will appreciate Dulcinea’s strength and ability to overcome all kinds of challenges.

    5. World Kid Lit

      An especially well-crafted fairytale, full of brilliant, droll details and delightful cartoon-style illustrations that enhance its dry humor.

    6. Donovan’s Literary Services

      The involving story will delight fans of fairy tales and fantasy, who will appreciate Dulcinea’s strength and ability to overcome all kinds of challenges.

    7. School Library Journal SLJ, 2021 Fantasy for Kids

      The simplicity of the lines here are key to the enjoyment. Ditto the witch with her distinctly Blue Meanie-esque mouth.

    8. Sydney Morning Herald / the Age

      Sydney Morning Herald 2021 Best Books for Kids

    9. My Baba, Book of the Week

      A funny fairy tale for children just starting on independent reading, with warm and characterful comic style illustrations your kids will love.

    10. Armadillo Magazine

      Such a witty and warm fairy tale is this that it will soon become a classic read-again in every household.

    11. Readings

      A hilarious and beautifully illustrated take on a classic tale.

    12. Red Reading Hub

      Brilliantly comedic, both verbally and visually. A neo-fairytale that will delight both solo readers and readers aloud.

    13. Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

      It’s a keeper.

    14. The Horn Book

      The love Dulcinea feels for her father underlies the whole plot, making this more reminiscent of Steig’s Sylvester and the Magic Pebble or Brave Irene than something out of Grimm. Profuse line and wash illustration, in a minimal palette of light oranges and browns, set the scene and capture atmosphere and personalities beautifully.

    15. Luminous Libro

      The story is magical and exciting. There are also some really funny lines that had me laughing!

    16. Book Nerd Mommy

      This super short chapter book is both quirky and delightful. One that we will come back to again and again.

    17. Kids Read the World Blog

      My daughter begged me to read this book 3 times in a row when it arrived. I had no problem humoring her with this fun, seasonal story.

    18. ReadPlus

      Highly recommended. The book is perfect for readers starting on novels and is easily read in one sitting. Dulcinea is a delightful, strong character who uses her brain to outwit the witch and save her father, a great message for young children to read about.

    19. Book and Gift Blogger, Instagram

      A comic-book style story read perfect for the transition for those becoming independent readers.

    20. The Book Muse

      What a delightful book that captures fairytale tropes and pulls them into a timeless tale of witches in towers, a huntsman, curses, and plucky young girls determined to save the day.

    21. Child Blogger

      This is such a beautifully illustrated book and one of those classic kind of fairy tales that kids totally get engrossed in and are so eager to keep on reading and turning the page to see what happens next.

    22. Readings Bookshops

      This is a hilarious and beautifully illustrated take on a classic tale.

    23. The New York Times

      It’s a well-told tale with an indefatigable heroine, and an interplay of words and pictures that feels as if it shares lineage with Quentin Blake and Roald Dahl. A fine winter evening read-aloud, to be enjoyed next to a warm fire with a plate of cookies. Or, you know, “biscuits.”

    24. Booklist

      With the charming trappings of an old European fairy tale and a comical dash of irreverence, this German import tells the story of a girl who must save her father from a witch’s spell. This will easily be a success with both young listeners and readers, who will be drawn to dauntless Dulcinea.

    25. Publishers Weekly

      Könnecke offers gentle comedy throughout: “Besides, nothing bad could happen to you on your birthday, could it?” Concise chapters move the pace along as readers follow Könnecke’s inky, black-outlined art in a tale for those who love magic, fairy tales, and blueberries on their pancakes.

    26. Youth Services Book Review

      Könnecke’s mischievous and inventive touch is evident in the text, where droll descriptions abound.

    27. Hannah, NetGalley-Reviewer

      The modern illustrations give a nice touch to the story, which can be read in one sitting. I really enjoyed it.

    28. Kirkus Reviews

      This fairy tale is updated with some attitude and a gentle poking of fun at fairy-tale tropes. There are also some seriously funny illustrations. The juxtaposition of Dulcinea’s earnest, often deadpan mien and the witch’s over-the-top dramatic expressions is priceless.


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