MARIE ANTOINETTE, PRINCESS OF VERSAILLES

Psychologically astute and packed with historical detail, this faux diary opens when Marie Antoinette [then called Maria Antonia] was a 13-year-old youngster. Despite Marie's nobility and lavish lifestyle, she comes off as an engaging and understandable adolescent though living under the tight domination of her imperious mother, the Empress of the Holy Roman Empire of the Germanic Nations, who strictly controlled her daughter's education and behavior. Readers should identify with her struggle to achieve autonomy and sympathize when she's married off to the unappealing Louis Auguste, the future king of France, at the tender age of fourteen. The particulars of royal life in the early 1770s, such as the fact that court etiquette demanded that Marie Antoinette bathe with `no fewer than eight women` present, a ritual presided over by a countess wearing `a full hooped gown,` jewels and a wig, are intricately rendered and astonishing to behold. It's hard to imagine that the sweet, down-to-earth Marie Antoinette whom Lasky portrays will turn into the frivolous materialist of history, and readers will have to make their peace with this issue. Still, a royal read that manages to both entrance and instruct. (Historical fiction. 1014)

Pub Date: April 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-439-07666-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

ON THE NIGHT YOU WERE BORN

A beautiful tribute to the uniqueness of every child: “On the night you were born, the moon smiled with such wonder that the stars peeked in to see you and the night wind whispered, ‘Life will never be the same.’ ” The wind and the rain whispered the new babe’s name, causing animals all over the world to rejoice. And if ever that child thinks that he is unloved, all he need do is listen to the wind and look around at nature—they will remind him of just how special and loved he is. New parents and grandparents will get teary as they celebrate with the author the wonder and marvel that is their newborn baby, while young listeners will be thrilled at being the center of creation’s attention. Neither group will notice the uneven rhyme scheme employed in the text or the failure of the author to carry through in encouraging parent and child to interact. The focus will be on the paint-and-collage illustrations, rich in color and incorporating words from the text. Perfect for lap sharing with a beloved little one. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-9765761-0-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Darling Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2005

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more