Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff

( 1 )


The next middle-grade rhyming novel from the award-winning author of Zorgamazoo!

Prince Puggly of the muddy, terminally unfashionable Kingdom of Spud is surprised when he receives an invitation to a lavish ball in the far more chic Kingdom of Spiff. Puggly is sure that the Spiffs will take one look at him and laugh him out of their kingdom. And that’s exactly what they do. . . . But then Puggly meets Francesca, the bookish Princess of Spiff, and together the two set out to teach...

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The next middle-grade rhyming novel from the award-winning author of Zorgamazoo!

Prince Puggly of the muddy, terminally unfashionable Kingdom of Spud is surprised when he receives an invitation to a lavish ball in the far more chic Kingdom of Spiff. Puggly is sure that the Spiffs will take one look at him and laugh him out of their kingdom. And that’s exactly what they do. . . . But then Puggly meets Francesca, the bookish Princess of Spiff, and together the two set out to teach Francesca’s Spiffian countrymen an absurd lesson in style. Award-winning author Robert Paul Weston once again delivers a humorous fantasy in rhyming verse that just begs to be read aloud. And this time, it comes with a message that’s sure to impress: There’s more to a person than how they are dressed.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Weston returns to the novel-in-verse format, goofy humor, inventive typography, and Seussian rhymes of his debut, Zorgamazoo, in this sartorial fairy tale. In Spiff, fashion matters above all else (“Every Spiff in the land would compete with their friends,/ to keep right in step with the latest of trends”), except to Princess Frannie, who prefers pajamas and books to sequins and gowns. Meanwhile in the neighboring kingdom of Spud, where clothing tends to be mismatched and garish, a commoner named Puggly is chosen to be prince and invited to the Centenary Ball in Spiff. Due to their “creative” wardrobe choices, Puggly and Frannie are insulted at the ball and flee in despair; when they meet up in the woods, they concoct a plan of revenge on the image-obsessed denizens of Spiff and its neighboring kingdoms. Weston’s climax is as tidy as his verse, with lessons learned about what truly matters (hint: it’s not a person’s outfit). Villa’s energetic illustrations further enliven this exuberant story that ought to enchant readers, whether they are fashion plates or reprobates. Ages 8–12. Agent: Jackie Kaiser, Westwood Creative Artists. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Sylvia Firth
It seems that current authors are experimenting with ways to make their work more eye- catching and different in order to capture the interest of young readers. This fantasy, told in rhyme, uses varied type sizes and fonts, humorous black and white sketches as well as lots of exclamation points in telling the tale of Prince Puggly who lives in the kingdom of Spud. This kingdom is a most unfashionable, rundown place that contrasts greatly with the neighboring, lavishly elegant kingdom of Spiff. Thus Puggly is astonished when an invitation to a grand ball to be held in the ornate castle of Spiff arrives. Of course his shabby appearance in mismatched clothes and frightful wig is ridiculed and poor Puggly is totally embarrassed and unhappy. But his meeting with the book-loving, miserable Princess Francesca of Spiff totally changes everything. She decides that together they will prove to the Spiffians that judging others only by the clothes they wear is not acceptable. This is a perfect read aloud story that is certain to amuse and entertain youngsters who will then enjoy reading it for themselves. Purchase is recommended. Reviewer: Sylvia Firth
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, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Like Zorgamazoo (2008),
A novel in rhyme, anything but sedate. It seems that Francesca, a book-loving princess Cares nothing for Fashion, despite her dad's winces--
Till scorned by the guests who have come one and all To the Kingdom of Spiff's Centenary Ball,
She blanches in shock from their laughter and jeers And runs off in naught but pajamas and tears.
Likewise Prince Puggly from neighboring Spud Is subjected to similar slinging of mud,
And reeling dismayed from the general mocks At his laughable wig and nonmatching socks Conspires with Fran on a brilliant prank That leaves their tormentors repentant but rank.
Presented in couplets that use a full range Of fanciful fonts and typography strange,
This sendup of Fashion quite properly ends With a note about slavishly following Trends. Lighthearted flummery, far from routine.
(Comical fantasy. 10-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595145741
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 2/6/2014
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 217,389
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Paul Weston wandered the earth for many years doing all sorts of odd jobs. In 2008, he published his first novel-in-verse, Zorgamazoo, recipient of the California Young Reader's Medal, the Silver Birch Award, the Children's Choice Award, and an E.B. White Read Aloud Honor. His second novel was the hard-boiled fairy tale Dust City, which was nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Young Adult Mystery. He is also the author of the upcoming format-bender The Creature Department. When he isn't writing, Robert still wanders the earth. For more about his latest adventures go to

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 8, 2013

    Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest re

    Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    To be honest, I probably would have never picked this book up if it hadn't been sent to me for review. Not because it looks uninteresting but because I don't read much middle-grade unless it's by authors who are established in YA already. But I am so very glad that I had the chance to read this because I absolutely adored it!

    When I first started reading, I thought it seemed a little odd. That is because it is told in rhyme! Yes, the entire story is told in rhyming verses and although it felt a little forced sometimes (quince used because it rhymed with prince), it added a sprightliness to the storytelling. I think this would definitely be a fun nighttime story for families to read together, especially if someone has a good narrating voice. Also adding to the fun was the font as words like "sparkled" and "glitz" were swankified. There was an illustration or decoration of some kind on every page, making this a book to pore over and ensuring young readers have their eyes caught.

    As for the story itself, there is the kingdom of Spiff where everyone loves fashion except for the princess who likes to wear pajamas and read (a girl after my own heart :) She is an embarrassment to her father. Meanwhile in the kingdom of Spud, they wear the most outrageous outfits and have recently designated Puggly as their prince. As Spiff's royal ball nears, the princess infuriates her father with her disinterest in clothes and Puggly ends up humiliated by a sneering couterier. The two leave in tears but team up to teach everyone a lesson.

    Overall: A splendid time was had while reading this book-I chuckled and smiled throughout and ended by hugging the book close to me, a sure sign of a happy time spent reading!

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