Brilliant Book Suggestions: ‘Tiger vs. Nightmare’ and ‘The Prince and the Dressmaker’

People who love to read always need a new, great book—so brilliant book recommendations from people come in handy.

Anthony Ascione, with Brilliant Books in Traverse City, has a couple of suggestions, one for the young kids who enjoy picture books and the other for pre-teen or teenage readers who may be looking for something different.

‘Tiger vs. Nightmare’ by Emily Tetri

“Tiger vs. Nightmare,’ adorable, adorable book,” says Ascione. “It’s actually a graphic novel geared more toward the 10 to 12 set, and it’s about this girl named tiger who has a monster living under her bed but the monster is nice. He was assigned to her when she was a baby and he decided it wasn’t really fair for a monster to scare a baby, why would you want to do that? So he’s dedicated his life to fighting off the nightmares that come visit her and keep her safe. Then one night, a nightmare comes that he can’t fight off, and he and Tiger have to deal with that. And it’s a very sweet story about bravery and togetherness and friendship. The illustrations are adorable. ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ was a favorite of mine as a kid, this very much put me in the mindset of Calvin and Hobbes, but instead of a boy and his imaginary friend, it’s a tiger and her imaginary friend, which was a lot of fun for me. It’s also a quick read super cute one, the illustrations get a tiny bit scary at one point, but I don’t’ think it’s too intense for a young reader. I think it’s another open that can be read aloud, just snuggle up in a chair or read it before bed.”

‘The Prince and the Dressmaker’ by Jen Wang

A good book keeps you hooked and thinking about it long after you’ve put it down.

Ascione has another suggestion for the teen or pre-teen in your life—a graphic novel that can span generations and spur conversations.

“Another graphic novel that I really, really love, ‘The Prince and the Dressmaker,” Ascione says. “It’s about a prince the crown prince of Belgium. It’s a fictional narrative set in the ‘40s. He’s next in line for the throne and he likes to wear dresses, he thinks they’re cool and he just likes being pretty, so he hires this girl who is a dressmaker in this town and he swears her to secrecy and he wants her to make him whatever crazy dresses she can. Money is no object, he’s the prince, and she does and he loves them and he becomes this big hit, this alternate persona. This celebrity that everyone wants to be like and everyone wants to meet, who is Lady Christalia, Where does she come from and who makes her dresses? In the meantime, his parents are leaning on him very heavily to find a wife and start his legacy as the crown prince and he’s really not sure what he wants to do. And the big thing he thinks about is what people would think if they found out he wore dresses. The illustrations are beautiful, the crazy dresses that the author has come up with are spectacular. It’s one that, again, teenagers could read and adults could read, I have a friend who bought it, he’s going to read it and give it to his son, have his son read it, and they’re going to talk about it together. And I think it’s the perfect thing for something like that. It’s realistic, but it’s also sort of fantastical. These obviously aren’t real people, the dresses aren’t real, which is unfortunate because some of them are fantastic. Another one that really makes you think. It really made me think.”

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