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Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff Hardcover – February 7, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-A humorous spin on the adage, "you can't judge a book by its cover." In clever rhyming verse, Weston tells the story of the people of the Kingdom of Spiff and several surrounding kingdoms who care more about appearances than character. Poor Frannie, the Princess of Spiff, is harassed by her father, King Dandy von Fop, to get her nose out of her books and put on something other than pajamas. In nearby Spud, citizens are shunned for being unfashionable and having a muddy realm. As the kingdoms come together for a ball, both Princess Frannie and the newly crowned Prince Puggly of Spud face harsh criticism from the stylish people who surround them. Frannie and Puggly flee separately but find each other and devise a plan to teach those around them a lesson in what is truly important. Plot, theme, and writing style make this a terrific read-aloud. Creative formatting and use of various typefaces add to the fun.-Erica Thorsen Payne, Meriwether Lewis Elementary School, Charlottesville, VAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
A kingdom enslaved to fashion is set free by the unstylish Prince of Spud and his soon-to-be consort, the bookish Princess of Spiff. In his third fantasy for young readers, Weston returns to the format of his fanciful Zorgamazoo (2008), with rhyming couplets, extensive font manipulation, and humorous, chapter-opening line drawings. In this silly saga of embarrassment and retaliation at the Spiffian Centenary Ball, Prince Puggly and Princess Fran discover each other and find a way to mock the stylish partygoers before returning to Spud, where they can dress as they please. Accurately labeling this as a “meandering tale,” the author reveals all in the end. Much of the humor comes from exaggerations of dress: Fran’s pajamas “printed with boats,” Puggly’s “polka-dot breeches that sag in the butt,” and a ’60s-style shaman whose turban sports a daisy. Occasional rhythmic hiccups, repetitions, and strained humor demonstrate just how difficult it is to write nonsense verse. Still, these couplets beg to be read aloud, as the playful language and satisfying story have extensive middle-grade appeal. Grades 3-6, --Kathleen Isaacs
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Top Customer Reviews
I would recommend this as a read aloud for the younger crowd (K-3) because there is some very advanced vocabulary here. Older kids will enjoy the read aloud, too, and probably pick up on the more subtle humor. They could also handle most of the language if they wanted to try it independently.
Weston's book is has a spot-on message about how we judge others and the decisions we make for ourselves. Overall this book was a pleasure to read.