This is a rather odd, but cute little book on the life of Marie Antoinette, in particular her young life, as seen through the eyes of her pet pug, Sebastien, a very spoiled and self centered little dog, as of course was his mistress.
Now we need to pause here and consider a couple of things. First, the author has taken great liberty in her account of history, which from this aspect, the book is quite flawed. Secondly, when reading this to young children, be prepared to tell them the rest of the story, as I guarantee they will ask; I know as I have been there and done that with a couple groups of children. There is always at least one in the group, even at the first and second grade level, that is somewhat aware of Antoinette's ultimate fate
That being said, this is a cute read. The sardonic wit of the dog allows the author to take some pretty nice shots at the French Court of that time and some of the personalities involved. Now I have always felt that Marie was sort of dealt a bad hand right from the start, but history is history and we sort of have to live with that. If you know pugs, you will see that the author also knows them. I can quite well imagine that the ones I have known would have had a very similar out look on life as our little pup does in this work.
The illustrations in this work are good. They are not the style that is a favorite of mine, but the kids seem to like it well enough and that is what really counts in a child's book. The various pictures go from quite detailed to quite general and you do get a good feeling of what is going on through them as they go perfectly with the text. These are actually some very nice and mellow water colors here which are very well executed.
Now I would normally give a works such as these three stars, four at the most, as I truly dislike books, even children's books that take too much liberty with history. The little dog and the authors humor shines through on this one though, so rather than take myself too serious, I will just chalk this up to a nice really, really fictionalized historical story and leave it as that. The kids like it, especially the little girls, and as I said, that is what counts.
And no, the author did not lose her head and carry this story to its well known conclusion.