Queen on Wednesday

Overview

On Wednesday, Thelma is bored—so she decides to become a queen. She makes the royal announcement on Thursday and chooses the royal pets on Friday. But she needs a castle to keep the pets, and royally qualified trainers to tame them, and of course someone to clean up after the messes. It’s enough to give a queen a royal headache. And when Thelma realizes that there aren’t enough beds to hold her royal staff, she flings ...

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Overview

On Wednesday, Thelma is bored—so she decides to become a queen. She makes the royal announcement on Thursday and chooses the royal pets on Friday. But she needs a castle to keep the pets, and royally qualified trainers to tame them, and of course someone to clean up after the messes. It’s enough to give a queen a royal headache. And when Thelma realizes that there aren’t enough beds to hold her royal staff, she flings off her crown and decides that maybe being a regular girl isn’t so boring after all.
 
Filled with playful humor and stunning artwork, Queen on Wednesday marks renowned illustrator Gabi Swiatkowska’s debut as a picture book author.  
 
A Frances Foster Book

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/24/2014
“Nothing had happened since Sunday,” Swiatkowska (Please, Papa) writes, painting dark-haired Thelma staring vacantly off into space. On Wednesday, Thelma does what any girl would—she dons the hoop skirt and starched ruffles of a Spanish infanta and proclaims herself queen. With charming imperiousness, Thelma recruits a troupe of sailor-suited boys to serve as her retinue and selects the royal pets, who pop up comically in odd places. Things soon go amiss, and Swiatkowska paints the chaos in a set of formal, oval-framed vignettes. One boy puzzles over the remains of a chandelier that’s been ripped out of the ceiling, while another peers through a telescope at a clogged toilet. As time goes on, the faces of Thelma’s apple-cheeked boy followers show impatience, torpor, and sheer contempt, but the paintings are never exaggerated; they have the quiet authority of Audubon bird portraits. At last the charm of ruling palls for Thelma: “ ‘That’s it!’ she cried. She flung off her royal crown and stomped away.” A witty and eccentric portrait of ego run wild. Ages 3–8. Agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management. (May)
From the Publisher

"For those children - or perhaps those parents - looking for offbeat fare to relieve their own boredom, this sophisticated exercise in stylization may prove just the ticket." - BCCB
 
"A familiar story of imaginative play, but Swiatkowska's whimsical pictures set it apart." - Booklist
 
"The emotional arc of the narrative are conveyed by the illustrations, a series of surrealist-style paintings of a world where oddities such as fish anchored by balloons sailing by the window appear unexplained." - The Horn Book
 
"Swiatkowska's stunning artwork offers readers a fantastic, somewhat surreal glimpse of a very imaginative girl." - School Library Journal
 
"Imaginative illustrations fuel this playful exploration of juvenile boredom." - Kirkus Reviews
 
"A witty and eccentric portrait of ego run wild." -Publishers Weekly

Children's Literature - Janice DeLong
When Thelma is bored on Wednesday, she finds ways to amuse herself, but then she decides to become a queen. She makes the royal announcement on Thursday. Selecting pets and sitting for her royal photograph comes on Friday. Next comes appointing her assistants and finding a carriage that will carry both Thelma’s royal personage and her entourage. Of course, a queen must have a castle, and finding just the proper place becomes the chore for Saturday. Then, the problem of hiring an animal trainer and a maid rears its head. They must be acceptable to royalty such as herself. When Thelma feels faint on Sunday, she realizes that she must have a royal cook. And so it goes—every action requires more people, more places, and more responsibilities. So, by the following Tuesday, Thelma resigns from being queen, but on Wednesday…Thelma begins thinking of new adventures. Delightful full-page illustrations engage young listeners, while the text reinforces the concept of sequencing, as well as inspires giggles. Reviewer: Janice DeLong; Ages 4 to 7.
School Library Journal
05/01/2014
PreS-Gr 2—On Wednesday, Thelma is bored, so she decides to become queen. She announces her coronation; assembles the royal pets, including a sheep, a bear, a cat, and a duck; and hires assistants. Of course, queens need carriages and a proper castle, and with all those pets, an animal trainer. It is all quite overwhelming, and the child soon realizes she needs a whole royal staff as well. It is enough to trouble the grandest of monarchs. Swiatkowska's stunning artwork offers readers a fantastic, somewhat surreal glimpse of a very imaginative girl. Illustrated with multiple mediums in a Victorian-like style, the pages are quite impressive. The large text, arranged in various layouts, balances the artistry of the illustrations. While certainly the story is one that young readers will appreciate, the fanciful and extraordinary artwork may appeal more to adults. Best suited to one-on-one sharing.—Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools, OH
Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-03
A very bored little girl takes refuge in her imagination, where she becomes a queen who's soon overwhelmed with royal responsibilities. Nothing has happened to Thelma since Sunday. Now it's Wednesday and, bored, she decides to become a queen. Initially, Thelma's preoccupied with announcing her royal status, selecting "royal pets," posing for a "royal photograph," and finding assistants and the carriage she now needs. On Saturday, she's busy looking for a "proper castle" and a "royally qualified" maid and animal trainer. By the time Sunday rolls around again, Thelma's faint from hunger as she lacks a "royal cook." Monday, she needs to find an electrician, a veterinarian and a plumber, plus a nurse for the "royal headache" she's developed. By Tuesday, Thelma tosses away her crown and returns to being a bored little girl. Prominently featured in large, variably sized and placed type, the droll text is cleverly integrated into sophisticated paint-and-pencil illustrations that conjure a surreal, tongue-in-cheek atmosphere. Dressed in Victorian apparel and wearing priceless, oh-so-bored expressions, wide-eyed Thelma and her imaginary assistants engage in peculiar, pointless activities amid mysterious, undefined venues, contributing brilliantly to the overall ennui. Imaginative illustrations fuel this playful exploration of juvenile boredom. (Picture book. 3-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374374464
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 5/20/2014
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 529,219
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Gabi Swiatkowska has illustrated many notable books for children, including My Name Is Yoon, for which she received the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award, and, most recently, Please, Papa, and Thank You, Mama by Kate Banks. She lives in France.

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