The Duchess of Whimsy
written by Randall de Seve; illustrated by Peter de Seve
(Philomel Books) 2009
Source: Orange County Public Library
The Duchess of Whimsy is quite the extrovert. Her parties are legendary and she is exquisite in every way. The Earl of Norm more than lives up to his name as well. His clothing, choice of pet, and conversation are very vanilla. So why is the Earl invited to the Duchess' soirees?
As with many things, the reason is political. Their kingdoms need to get along so the Duchess' father makes her invite the plain Earl. But in love the Earl has uncommon taste as he adores the Duchess.
This adoration causes him to do strange things and create strange poetry in order to woo the Duchess. His attempts fall flat until the cook falls ill and the Duke's ordinary culinary ways catch the Duchess' eye.
The Duchess of Whimsy is a witty fairy tale that is chock full of outstanding illustrations. Peter de Seve's artwork will be very appealing to readers of all ages. This book would be a great mentor text to use for teaching context clues as it is full of rich vocabulary. It's a versatile text as it would also work to help teach main idea. I would ask students what lesson the Duchess learns at the end of the story.
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