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The Dumpy Princess [Hardcover]

Karin Fernald , Sophie Foster
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 Sep 2010
Princess Victoria lives in a world of dolls, pets and palaces. But with four bad uncles, a penniless widowed mother and wicked Sir John Conroy for company, life isn't easy. It takes Victoria's down-to-earth governess Lehzen, a nice German cousin called Albert and her beloved spaniel Dash to convince the plain little girl with no chin that one day she could become Queen of England. Wittily penned and delightfully illustrated, The Dumpy Princess offers a lighthearted glimpse into a royal childhood.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books (2 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847800831
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847800831
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 13.8 x 18.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 610,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


A delightful small hardback which takes a wry view of the life of the future Queen Victoria. Historically correct - well more or less - the story succeeds in making the future queen seem very human and all too real. It also confirms my suspicions about the appalling people surrounding royalty the, and now? (Carousel)

Cheerfully illustrated by Sophie Foster, this is a child-centred history at its most approachable. (Nicholas Tucker Independent)

A witty approach to history that is comically illustrated by Sophie Foster (Ham & High)

A lively read. (Historic Novels Review)

Admittedly a fair amount of poetic licence has been employed but the resulting story, complemented by endearing and witty illustrations, is absorbing, fascinating and eminently accessible to young readers. (Booktrust)

Puts the fun back into history! Sophie Foster's charming illustrations are a wonderful addition to the story and I only hope that Karin Fernald gives other historical figures the same treatment. (The School

About the Author

KARIN FERNALD is a RADA-trained actor. She researches and writes her own material to recreate characters and historical periods. Her subjects include Jane Austen, Queen Victoria, Fanny Burney, Florence Nightingale, Hans Christian Andersen, Dr Samuel Johnson, Virginia Woolf, Hester Thrale, Benjamin Robert Haydon and Perdita Robinson. She often uses slides to illustrate her material. She lectures for NADFAS (National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies) and has appeared at festivals all over England at venues such as the National Portrait Gallery, the Foundling Museum, Dr Johnson's House and the Hurlingham Club. The Dumpy Princess is her first book.

SOPHIE FOSTER graduated from Falmouth School of Art in 2008. The Dumpy Princess is her first book. Sophie lives in Bristol.

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Customer Reviews

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Delightful Tale for Young Girls 30 Jun 2010
By shaz17 TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I like to read a few chapters a night to my grand daughters. And this wonderful, entertaining book made their bedtime story a treat.
Young Princess Victoria & her family is a delightful read, from her childhood right up to ascension to the throne. It is told in a funny way at times and made us laugh. The history lesson is a fun way to learn even though it may not be all true. The images in the book are wonderful and helps children picture more from the story. A lovely size book that when they are older they would read themselves. A lovely addition to their bookshelves and one to be read again :)
Well worth the price for the quality it seemed :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and fun - and a history lesson, too! 29 Jun 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is an absolute joy - a tongue-in-cheek retelling of the story of young Princess Victoria and her ascent to the British throne. With a faithful nod to history throughout, all the main protagonists are there, and Victoria's royal family are presented as wonderfully quirky charicatures, from the mourning German mother to the kindly governess Lehzen and even King Leopold of Belgium. There are some lovely observations on the life and times of Victoria's childhood, with throw-away, cheeky remarks adding to the humour, such as Belgium being 'rainy and cold and mostly flat' and the image of industrialised Midlanders 'covered in coal dust'. It's a journey through Victoria's formative years through the eyes of a questioning little girl sometimes carried away by the events around her.

With ample adventure, twists and turns, it should have a broad appeal. Told sensitively, with a generous pinch of salt and with a great sense of humour, it's fantastic as a read-along story for parents and kids, or even as a sneaky quick read for adults, too - with the added bonus that there's a bit of a history lesson in there too, wrapped up in a bit of sugar.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky 13 Sep 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Based on a young (Queen) Victoria's actual experiences, this is a charming and colourful story that will appeal to girls and mothers alike.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For All Ages 28 Aug 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was tempted by this book last month but I had filled my quota of Vine products to review, but when I saw some copies still left this month I just had to get it because of the good reviews it has already received.

This is a great little tale that will appeal to many ages, I am after all an adult, and I abolutely loved it. This is all based on fact which makes it even better, it will give children something fun to read that is true (apart from the talking mirror and dog, although as a adult you will see that this is a device for answering yourself when thinking aloud). To write something like this for children and keeping them entertained, whilst relaying a multitude of facts is no easy task, and full marks must go to Karin Fernald. Full marks must also go to Sophie Foster who provided the beautiful colour illustrations; this is her first undertaking in the book world, and I expect we will hear and see a lot more of her work over the forthcoming years.

Also included in this book is a list of important dates in Victoria's life up to her Coronation, as well as a list of the kings and queens of this country from 1066, unto the present day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy interesting read 27 Aug 2010
By Mrs. F. Huxley VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book has been a joy to read. I have read a few chapters each night before bed to my daughter and we've both been captivated by it. The characters are described really well and are allowed to develop as the chapter unfold so that the stroy moves forward easily. All the main characters involved in Victoria's ascent to the throne are included and you get a real sense of what life was like for Victoria before becoming queen. It's a period of time I knew little about before reading this book to my daughter and I wish more history was presented this way
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real historic story suitable for children 26 Aug 2010
By Sally Wilton VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Written in a style that appeals to children as they can relate well to the heroine. The true story of Queen Victoria and the struggle she and her mother had prior to becoming queen.

Beautifully illustrated it is a really charming little book for any child and a great introduction to history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humourous History Lesson in a beautiful format. 26 Aug 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a very high quality small sized hardback book. The quality of the paper and the addition of a dust jacket (illustrated with the same detail of the cover underneath) make this edition very suitable to give as a gift. The hardback version is definately worth buying for pre teens.
The illustrations scattered throughout the book (almost every other page, sometimes more)are outstanding and the young life of Princess Victoria is presented as a funny fairytale with wicked uncles, kindly tutors and a loyal dog. The time line and characters are historically accurate but some of Victoria's relatives and Prince Albert are very comically portrayed. Albert is briefly introduced as a cousin who falls asleep a lot(often in his soup) and is always in bed by 9pm.
At just over a hundred pages it is a quick read and would make a wonderful bedtime reading book for parents to read aloud to younger children. It contains the right amount of humour and information to make this just as enjoyable for adults to read as any children listening. Just practice your German accent as Princess Victoria's mother is given some wonderful humourous dialogue such as, "But I must remain for effer here in dis treadful Englant, for de sae off my Vicky!".
The adults are horribly rude to each other in this book in a polite royal way which should have children laughing out loud.
Very highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, full of character and educational.
My daughter is four and we'd been going steadily through the easier Roald Dahl books from the excellent box set, Roald Dahl 15 Book Box Set (Slipcase). Read more
Published on 17 Mar 2012 by bomble
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Story for boys and girls
The Dumpy Princess is a great read for children, the story is witty and funny. My son enjoyed it thoroughly. Read more
Published on 16 Mar 2012 by R. Patel
4.0 out of 5 stars Great little book
This book really surprised me; obviously aimed at children, but some adults would do well to read it as it is an entirely factual tale of the ascent of Queen Victoria, with some... Read more
Published on 17 Jan 2011 by DJ Bez
4.0 out of 5 stars A different sort of history book.
This book is well presented and illustrated in colour. It is just the right size for smaller hands. The way the story is told is obviously a truthful one but has the whiff of the... Read more
Published on 23 Sep 2010 by Lily
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely and gentle
This is a beautiful little hardback book which tells the story of Princess Victoria's early life before she became queen. Read more
Published on 12 Sep 2010 by Miss
4.0 out of 5 stars Dad learnt too
Really nice little read about Queen Victoria. Starting with her birth and family situation, the book tells a great tale and is really well written. Read more
Published on 12 Sep 2010 by mssmith1
5.0 out of 5 stars early life of a princess
This is the story of Princess Victoria from crib to coronation done as a beautiful children's story. Read more
Published on 7 Aug 2010 by Su
4.0 out of 5 stars A real life fairy tale princess
This is a quirky, charming look into the early childhood of Queen Victoria. From her birth to her coronation, Victoria's relationships with her royal (but highly dysfunctional)... Read more
Published on 4 Aug 2010 by Book Addict
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