Parents' Guide to

The Duchess of Whimsy

By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Spirited, funny tale of an unlikely friendship.

The Duchess of Whimsy Poster Image

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What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Randall and Peter de Seve have dished up a charming story that teaches a valuable lesson with a considerable dose of humor and joy. Randall de Seve brings together her odd couple with a sparkling story that evokes both princess fantasies and the grade-school cafeteria social order. The exuberant artwork by Peter de Seve -- well-known for his New Yorker covers, among other work -- are crammed with funny details that will entrance kids.

Like the duchess herself, everything about this book is lavish and extravagant, from the expressive illustrations to the lyrical, elegant language. The latter, however, may put off some younger kids. The first readings will very likely require frequent interruptions to define unfamiliar words: The first few pages alone toss out soirees, attire, rutted, manor, apparel, and joie de vivre. Patient kids who enjoy wordplay will stick with it and feel rewarded, but less eager readers may give up.

Beautiful, funny, and, yes, whimsical illustrations add magic to a fairy tale courtship.

Book Details

  • Author: Randall de Seve
  • Illustrator: Peter de Seve
  • Genre: Friendship
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Philomel
  • Publication date: October 29, 2009
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 4 - 8
  • Number of pages: 32
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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