Moi and Marie Antoinette

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Marie Antoinette was one of the most celebrated queens in history…but she was once a little girl, too. As told by her vain but devoted dog, Sebastian, here is the story of the young princess's life—from her childhood in Austria, to the elaborate preparations leading to her marriage to Louis XVI; from her unhappy rise to power in turbulent times, to the birth of her own children. Lynn Cullen's spirited text sheds light on a side of Marie Antoinette few have seen—that of a vulnerable young girl thrust into a role ...

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2006 Hardcover New 1582349584 INTERART (19/09/2006) Weight: 450g. / 0.99lbs Binding: Hardcover Great Customer Service! *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an ... authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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Overview

Marie Antoinette was one of the most celebrated queens in history…but she was once a little girl, too. As told by her vain but devoted dog, Sebastian, here is the story of the young princess's life—from her childhood in Austria, to the elaborate preparations leading to her marriage to Louis XVI; from her unhappy rise to power in turbulent times, to the birth of her own children. Lynn Cullen's spirited text sheds light on a side of Marie Antoinette few have seen—that of a vulnerable young girl thrust into a role much bigger than she could have imagined. Stunning illustrations by Amy Young capture the grandeur of life in 18th century Versailles and the touching intimacy of a child's lasting love for her pet.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Loosely based on a true story, this picture book chronicles the French queen's journey from an Austrian girlhood to royal motherhood, as narrated by her beloved canine companion. Perhaps in an attempt to better the reputation conferred on Marie Antoinette, Cullen (The Mightiest Heart) puts a human face on this historic figure. S bastien the pug, aka "Moi," peppers the tales of his mistress's adventures with witty asides. Upon learning that Antoinette (as her family calls her) will become queen, he jests, "This news was not as exciting as tender morsels of chicken, but I would have to make do." His self-centeredness is not unlike a child who demands 100% attention from his caretaker. While Moi maintains his presence throughout Antoinette's life, he is mostly left to his own devices, as his mistress becomes too caught up in her responsibilities to pay him much attention. Once Moi ultimately forges a relationship with Antoinette's daughter, he no longer feels like that forgotten child. As in Young's books about Belinda the ballerina, her portraits of the heroine here strike just the right balance between disciplined and playful, so Antoinette always seems approachable, and Moi's loss of playmate the more poignant. The detailed illustrations, especially of Antoinette's and Moi's faces, help convey the many emotions of the parent-child relationship in this rather lengthy read. The result is a softer picture of a queen whom many believe ruled with an iron fist. Ages 5-9. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
The author's interest in writing this story was piqued when she discovered a story of young Marie Antoinette: when Marie was being sent to France to prepare for marriage to the grandson of the king of France, she was willing to leave behind in Austria most everything except her dog. The voice of the pug, named Sebastion by the writer, is used to tell this tale, which focuses greatly on the similarities between the taste of the dog and the young woman. Antoinette is not afraid of thunder and other silly things, she does not like fish and has no patience while being groomed. Therefore, Sebastian believes them to be kindred souls. When they leave for France, Antoinette is only fourteen, but she is sure she will be happy with the wonderful new life she is about to experience. After their arrival, Sebastian can tell she is not happy. When Antoinette marries, once again her expectations are raised, but despite beautiful new dresses and many possessions, Antoinette is still dissatisfied. Finally, she becomes queen and orders even more extravagant gowns and jewels, but happiness eludes her. After the birth of Antoinette's first child, Sebastian feels ignored, but when a second child is born, the first also feels ignored and so she seeks out Sebastian. To his joy, they find they share the same tastes, as well. They don't like fish, have no patience with being groomed, and are not afraid of thunder and other silly things.
Kirkus Reviews
Such resolute cutesiness can have a dreary effect, which, alas, is true in this view of the doomed French queen as observed by her pug dog. What happened to Marie Antoinette at the guillotine appears only in the author's note: S‚bastian the pug, who refers to himself as moi like Miss Piggy does, accompanies the 14-year-old royal from Austria to France, where she is married to the king's grandson. The dog, mostly ignored, isn't happy until Marie Antoinette's daughter Th‚rŠse is of an age to play, when the now-queen has borne a second child. Versailles is not cozy for children or dogs, and visions of the queen's sumptuous raiment and impossible hairdos contrast with Th‚rŠse in the mirrored halls holding the dog or running in the gardens in parallel to her mother's childhood days. Gouache in matte pastel colors illustrate this lighthearted image of Versailles populated by figures with rosebud mouths and doll-like features. Will appeal to those who love princess stories and can understand that money, jewels and fancy clothes don't necessarily bring happiness. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582349589
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 9/19/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 11.03 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Lynn Cullen is the author of several picture books and novels. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Visit Lynn at www.lynncullen.com.

Amy Young trained as a fine artist at Yale and received an MFA in painting from Indiana University. She then went on to earn a law degree from Harvard and worked as a lawyer for several years. She now devotes herself full time to writing and illustrating, and is the creator of the popular Belinda picture books. Visit Amy at www.amylyoung.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2009

    A 7 Year Old's Review

    This is a very good book and true. I like how the dog is saying everything not Marie Antoinette, and it's sort of taking me on a new adventure with Marie Antoinette.

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    a girl and her dog amidst the glitter of versailles

    For most, the phrase 'It's a dog's life' means a cushy existence. That's certainly what it was for Sebastien, favored pet of the young Antoinette. Sebastien or 'Moi' as he often refers to himself believes he is perfection and quite deserving of being pampered and played with by his young mistress. They share many things, including hating the 'taste of anything that had once swum,' a dislike of being groomed and fear of thunder and the dark. Therefore they are fine companions. All of that came to an end when Antoinette was betrothed to the grandson of the king of France and off Sebastien and mistress went to live at Versailles where she would marry Louis XVI and have children. Life was so busy for her in the royal court that she had little time for Sebastien and he retreated to the park, feeling 'as forgotten as yesterday's bone.' Six years passed and poor Sebastien's chin turned gray. But then one day he met a child in the park. Young readers will be surprised at who that is and what 'Moi' and the child come to mean to each other. While author Cullen obviously takes a few lighthearted liberties with the life of the French queen, Moi & Marie Antoinette is an interesting look at life in the royal court as well as an entertaining story of a girl and her dog. Amy Young's watercolor illustrations are charming , true to the dress of the day and the glitter of Versailles. - Gail Cooke

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