Princess K.I.M. and the lie that grew

Written & Illustrated by Maryann Cocca-Leffler


Reading level: Ages 4-8

Hardcover: 32 pages

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company (March 2009)

ISBN-10: 0807541788

ISBN-13: 978-0807541784

Kim wants the kids at her new school to like her, so she tells a teeny, tiny, bitty lie.

She says her name is really “K.I.M.”— for “Katherine Isabella Marguerite”—

and that she is a princess! But the little lie grows and grows, until one day

it’s ready to explode…Maryann Cocca-Leffler’s wise story and bright, funny pictures

tell the truth about what happens when a lie unravels.


Nervous new girl at school tells a lie that seems to get bigger and 
bigger. On her first day in a new school, Kim Worthington is 
introduced to the whole class by the teacher. When another girl cries 
out that her name is Kim, everybody laughs, and the new Kim finds 
herself weaving a tall tale of her life as Princess Katherine 
Isabella Marguerite. Her classmates seem so fascinated and attentive 
that Kim can’t own up to her lie but gets in deeper and deeper 
instead. Then on the Monday-morning school bus, the cheers turn to 
jeers when the other students, having watched Kim’s house over the 
weekend, accuse her of being “a FAKE!” It takes a surprise 
intervention from Grandma to save the day and pave the way for Kim to 
set things right. Cocca-Leffler’s sunny illustrations and the book’s 
playful design help its valuable lesson go down easy. Classmate 
Jason’s skeptical commentary throughout the week acts as punctuation 
and leads up to a smile-inducing punchline. Appealing and effective. 
(Picture book. 4-6)---
Kirkus review March 09

PreS-Gr 2–On her first day at a new school, Kim wants to distinguish herself from a classmate with the same name, so she tells a “teeny, tiny, bitty lie,” saying that Kim is actually an acronym for Katherine Isabella Marguerite. After her teacher calls it a name befitting royalty, the rumor spreads that Kim is a princess and she goes along with the charade. Everyone is hypnotized except Jason, who doesn’t believe Kim’s story. Then, Kim is put in a difficult situation when her grandmother, the supposed queen, comes to town. In the end, a wonderful lesson is learned and a new friendship is formed. The brightly colored artwork brings the story to life. Several scenes show Kim’s classmates giving her the royal treatment by covering puddles, carrying things for her, and getting her autograph. Varying layouts effectively convey the action: larger paintings depict the entire class, while smaller ones capture private moments. A row of faces presented in a diagonal stripe across a spread neatly shows a lie being passed from person to person. Fans of Jane O’Connor’s “Fancy Nancy” (HarperCollins) are sure to enjoy this tale.–Lori A. Guenthner, Baltimore County Public Library, Randallstown, MD- School Library Journal