TITUS RULES! by Dick King-Smith


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 11
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King-Smith’s (Chewing the Cud, p. 1312, etc.) animal tales usually leap over the Atlantic with ease, but not this time. Poking affectionate fun at Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, the author looks at their relationship through the eyes of Titus, one of the Queen’s ten corgis. Never referring to his royal mistress as anything other than “the servant,” Titus learns proper behavior from his mum (“Our servant she may be, but it’s important to treat servants right if you want them to look after you well”), earns a place on the Queen’s lap after nabbing a jewel thief, then on her very bed after heading off a flood (Philip falls asleep in his tub, leaving the taps on), and a cigarette-caused fire. In frequent hatched-ink sketches, Eastwood mingles recognizable Royals with stubby, confident-looking canines. American readers will admire Titus for his courage and cleverness, but the lèse-majesté humor of repeatedly catching Philip in undignified circumstances or listening to him and “Madge” (short for “Majesty”) bicker over the domestic menagerie doesn’t carry the same resonance on this side of the pond. A near-miss. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Jan. 14th, 2003
ISBN: 0-375-81461-2
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2002


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