Tuesday, April 20, 2010

If your child liked Fancy Nancy or Eloise....

If your child liked Fancy Nancy or Eloise then they will love The Duchess of Whimsy by Randall de Séve. This delight fairytale is a love story, but there is a sweet moral behind it. The Duchess of Whimsy is known throughout the land as the greatest hostess there ever was! Her extravagant soirées are equally matched by the outlandish and stunning costumes that the Duchess of Whimsy adorns. The Duchess of Whimsy is loved by all, especially the Earl of Norm, who is hopelessly in love with her. He presents her with extraordinary gifts and goes to extreme lengths to impress the Duchess of Whimsy, but she was never impressed.

On the eve of one of her grand galas, the Duchess’ cook became sick. All the guests tried to make elaborate dishes for the delightful dinner, but all they made is a mess! It was the Earl of Norm’s simple grilled cheese sandwich and glass of milk that won the Duchess over. How could something so simple as grilled cheese be so delightfully delicious? Not only did the Duchess see grilled cheese sandwiches in a new light, but she also saw the Earl differently as well. De Séve reminds the reader that sometimes the most extravagant of people need a little simplicity in their life and a dash of over-the-top never hurt anyone. The Duchess of Whimsy is simple extraordinary!

The illustrations, which are done by de Séve’s husband, reminded me of King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood. The character’s costumes, especially those of the Duchess, are what initially drew me to this precocious picture book. They are elaborate, ostentatious, flamboyant, and beautifully drawn. The Duchess of Whimsy has the glitz and glamour of Fancy Nancy, but with more heart and definitely more style.

Click here to put The Duchess of Whimsy on hold!

~ Miss Judith ~

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