The Queen of France

by Tim Wadham (Author) Kady MacDonald Denton (Illustrator)

Dressed up as a queen, a little girl has some endearing and funny audiences with two most obliging subjects -- her mother and father. When Rose wakes up one morning feeling royal, she dons her necklaces, bracelets, and crown.

Soon the Queen of France emerges to survey her domain, disapproving of Rose's mother's thorny gardening choices and asking Rose's father where the Royal Physician may be found.

The odd thing is, when Rose returns to look for the Queen of France, she's nowhere to be seen. And when the imperious queen comes back, she's curious to know what Rose's parents would think if she traded places with their little girl?

With charming illustrations by Kady MacDonald Denton and a humorous tale by Tim Wadham, here is a sweet homage to the easy affection between parents and an imaginative child.


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Kirkus Reviews

Rose awakens one morning in a majestic mood. She selects items from her jewelry box and make-believe basket before promenading into the garden and announcing to her mother, "Hello, I am the Queen of France." Rose's commitment to the role is so complete that she continues, "Have you seen Rose?" Her mother and father are happy to play along, always gently emphasizing how much they love Rose as Rose. Soon this little girl is not content to be the Queen of France, she must also be Rose. So, she changes out of her costume, flounces into the kitchen and asks her mother the whereabouts of the Queen of France.Rose moves in and out of her role (and costume) before ultimately deciding that she'd really rather just be Rose, since her mother and father would miss her so much. But fancy can't be subdued so easily, and after dinner Rose's creativity stirs again. Illustrated in creamy, pink-hued watercolors that lend a glow to Rose's cheery home, this sweet tale demonstrates that, with the right attitude and outfit, imagination reigns supreme.(Picture book. 2-6)

Copyright 2011 Kirkus Reviews, LLC Used with permission.

Booklist

Preschool-Grade 3. A little girl named Rose pulls her most regal finery from the make-believe basket and dresses up as the queen of France. Her parents play along with the fantasy as Rose considers switching places with the queen. When Rose’s finger is hurt, her mother kisses it better, but the royal physician attends to the queen of France. When Rose’s room is messy, she must clean it, while the servants clean the queen’s room. Still, in the end, Rose opts to stay Rose, since her mother would miss her “infinity times infinity.” The text nicely balances the apparent formality of the conversations with the underlying understanding and affection between Rose and each of her parents. Created in ink, watercolor, and gouache, Denton’s expressive illustrations perfectly capture the story’s tone and magnify its essential charm. Suitable for sharing with one child or a group, this warm, playful picture book is a pleasure to read aloud.

Copyright 2011 Booklist, LLC Used with permission.

Horn Book Magazine

Parents who've OD'd on pink, princess-themed Little Girl World should actually be happy to find this rosy-tinted volume about pretend royalty. It's a sweet family story, and not unpalatably so. One morning young Rose digs in the make-believe basket and emerges as the queen of France. In the garden, she confronts a royal gardener. "'Why are you planting those bumpy sticks?' asked the queen. 'This is a rosebush, Your Majesty,' said Rose's mother. 'It is ugly,' said the queen." Denton's watercolor illustrations have dainty soft hues and lines, but her characters are sturdy and vigorous. After the queen accidentally pricks her finger on the pitiful plant, which Rose's mother says will soon grow beautiful, she wanders off to find the Royal Physician. Instead, she finds Rose's father mowing the lawn. He reminds the queen to tell Rose that he will be reading her a pirate story that evening. Through fresh, gently witty dialogue, Wadham relates the familiar picture book message that it's fun to dress up, but it's also fun to be yourself. Especially when there's an appealingly "scary" costume waiting in the make-believe basket for tomorrow. christine m. heppermann

Copyright 2011 Horn Book Magazine, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Faced with the prospect of having to pick up her messy bedroom, Rose assumes an alter ego: the Queen of France. This monarch is very fine indeed with her necklaces, bracelets, crown, parasol, and tulle skirt from "the make-believe basket," and her disdain for the common life ("I am shocked to see that you do your own cooking," the Queen of France tells Rose's mother). The Queen of France graciously offers to exchange places with Rose, but withdraws the invite when her faithful subjects express attachment to their lowly daughter ("I will miss her infinity times infinity," says Rose's mother. "That is a very large amount," says the queen). Wadham makes a terrific debut; his rhythmic prose and comic pacing feel elegant and effortless, and he handles his diminutive fantasist and her parents with the kind of unaffected empathy that can elude more experienced authors. He's also fortunate in his collaborator--Denton (A Visitor for Bear) wonderfully conveys the story's impishness, emotional subtleties, and familial affections. Just watching the queen strut her regal stuff is worth the price alone. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

PreS-Gr 2With a few props from the make-believe basket and a royal imagination, Rose transforms into the Queen of France. She then sets out searching for Rose. (Later Rose goes in search of the Queen, but, alas, the two never meet.) The child's parents lovingly fulfill their roles, playing along and encouraging their daughter's imaginative game. When the Queen suggests that she'd like to trade places with Rose, the adults agree, but admit they would miss her terribly. Of course the Queen of France takes off her crown in the end, and Rose comes to dinner. The text is at once both quiet and lively, creating a three-dimensional character. It will read easily for the first or one hundredth time—it's a story that will never grow tired. Soft, delicate cartoons in ink, watercolor, and gouache capture the essence of Rose and her alter ego. With minimal line, the illustrator creates real, engaging characters. Several pages of text are decorated with simple frames of stars, crowns, and roses. The quiet simplicity is feminine without the frou-frou and frills. Rose will be an inspiration for many young princesses and a great character to share with small groups or one-on-one.—Carolyn Janssen, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH

Copyright 2011 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Wadham makes a terrific debut; his rhythmic prose and comic pacing feel elegant and effortless, and he handles his diminutive fantasist and her parents with the kind of unaffected empathy that can elude more experienced authors. He's also fortunate in his collaborator—Denton (A Visitor for Bear) wonderfully conveys the story's impishness, emotional subtleties, and familial affections. Just watching the queen strut her regal stuff is worth the price alone
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Will read easily for the first or one hundredth time-it's a story that will never grow tired. Soft, delicate cartoons in ink, watercolor, and gouache capture the essence of Rose and her alter ego...The quiet simplicity is feminine without the frou-frou and frills. Rose will be an inspiration for many young princesses
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Tim Wadham
Tim Wadham is a librarian who has served on many prestigious awards committees and is also very involved in children's theater. This is his debut picture book. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Kady MacDonald Denton is the illustrator of the New York Times best-seller A Visitor for Bear and two other Bear and Mouse stories by Bonny Becker, as well as Two Homes by Claire Masurel. She lives in Ontario, Canada.
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9780763641023
Lexile Measure
480L
Guided Reading Level
N/A
Publisher
Candlewick Press (MA)
Publication date
March 20, 2011
Series
Junior Library Guild Selection
BISAC categories
JUV051000 - Juvenile Fiction | Imagination & Play
JUV013060 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Parents
JUV034000 - Juvenile Fiction | Royalty (kings queens princes princesses knights etc.)
Library of Congress categories
Imagination
Parent and child
Kings, queens, rulers, etc
Parents Choice Awards (Spring) (2008-Up)
Approved 2011 - 2011

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