Moi and Marie Antoinette

Moi and Marie Antoinette

4.5 2
by Lynn Cullen, Amy Young
     
 

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

See more details below

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.

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)

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781582349589
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
09/19/2006
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 11.03(h) x 0.41(d)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >