No doubt meant to be droll, this arch fictionalized biography of the girl who became Queen Victoria misses the mark.
Most of the facts are here: her six unsatisfactory uncles, her beloved dog Dash, her ascension to the throne at age 18. There is a glimpse of Albert, her royal first cousin, whom she loved and who would become her spouse. But the text focuses on the years before: People call her Vicky; much is made of her lack of chin and lack of height; her mother keeps her under tight control. All of her mother's dialogue is written in a Hogan's Heroes–esque, German-accented English, which just doesn't seem very funny in the 21st century. The Duchess, her mother, on her late husband: “How fine he vos! And vot a great kink he vould haf mate, eef his horrid brudders hadn't been born before him. How dey all hated each udder!” The villainous Sir John Conroy, who worked with Victoria's mother to make her utterly dependent (and whom she instantly dismissed from court upon her coronation), plays his part, as does Lehzen, Victoria's cherished governess. The brightly colored illustrations are exaggerated and cartoony, a good match for the text.
In the end, we are not amused. (chronology, list of kings and queens) (Historical fiction. 7-10)