Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Duchess of Whimsy

de Seve, R. (2009). The duchess of whimsy, an absolutely delicious fairy tale. New York: Philomel Books.

This book is a 2011 Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee.

Exposition:  The Duchess of Whimsy has elaborate soirees and is made to invite the Earl of Norm.  The two couldn't be more different.
Conflict: The Earl of Norm loves the Duchess of Whimsy and always tries to impress her.  The King encourages the Duchess to be nice to him, saying that their kingdoms must be friends.
Rising Action:  The night of the dinner party, the cook becomes sick.  The Duchess does not know what she will feed her guests.
Climax:  The guests all attempt to cook different things, but none of them know exactly how to complete the task.
Falling Action: The Earl of Norm, who had given up, decides he will just make a grilled cheese sandwich and a glass of milk. The Duchess of Whimsy, who was anything but plain, decides that this is the best meal!
Resolution: The Duchess of Whimsy decides the Earl of Norm is exactly what she wants.

The illustrations by Peter de Seve set the mood for the book.  They are both whimsical and elaborate and show the personalities of the different characters.  The illustrations do a wonderful job of developing the characters as well as establishing the setting of the story.  The facial expressions on the characters are fantastic!

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