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The Duchess of Whimsy (Randall & Peter de Sève)

on March 1, 2012

The Duchess of Whimsy : an absolutely delicious fairy tale

The Duchess of Whimsy by Randall & Peter de Sève
Format: Picture Book
Age: Pre-school – 1st grade
Philomel Books, 2009
ISBN: 9780399250958
Find this book at your local library

The Duchess of Whimsy is extravagant in everything she does and owns, but her long-time admirer the Earl of Norm, is not. Can the two find something in common so that their two lands can unite?

The illustrations and facial expressions are truly my favorite aspect of this book. The text is fun as well and great for building vocabulary. I love that the lengthier words are just thrown in naturally with the shorter words, making a seamless transition for the reader.

The Duchess of Whimsy
was known throughout the land
for her extravagant soirees,
her elaborate attire,
her uncommon conversation
and her most peculiar pets
and acquaintances.

The illustrations remind me of Audrey and Don Wood’s King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub. They are the same rich, jeweled tones decorating each page and character. What I love is how the differences between the Duchess and the Earl are depicted simply through the illustrated space on each page. The pages about the Duchess are extravagantly illustrated and filled from top to bottom while the pages of the Earl are mostly white with only the Earl illustrated in color. As their relationship develops, you see the color flow from the Duchess to the Earl and the plain background travel from the Earl to the Duchess until they find a happy medium.

This is Randall de Sève’s second book, his first being Toy Boat

Toy boat

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