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It seems entirely fitting that a book about a girl invited to take tea with the queen carry the Duchess of York's byline. The author shares her etiquette rules for such a scenario via unruly Ruby, whose excitement renders her boisterous and ineloquent. As she repeatedly proclaims, "I've been invited to have tea with the Queen!," other characters admonish her to mind her various manners: "I hope you won't talk with your mouth full"; "I hope you won't interrupt"; "I hope you'll remember to sit up straight." Ruby barrels through the bustling pages like a little tornado, hair tumbling, shoelaces undone; it's easy to understand everybody's trepidation. Interspersed with pictures of Ruby's chaotic life are her imaginings of an elegant existence at the palace, depicted in golden line drawings, against which she and the other characters are regally clothed in 18th-century-style garments. The thin plot may disappoint princess-loving readers, especially when the identity of "the Queen" is finally revealed, but Glasser's exuberant illustrations, rendered in her unmistakable Fancy Nancy style, sustain the book's spirit. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Another celebrity-authored book about manners. Princess-obsessed Ruby receives a card inviting her to have tea on Sunday with the Queen. As she rushes to tell everyone about her forthcoming engagement, family members, teachers, and friends remind her to adhere to various social graces such as saying "please" and "thank you," not interrupting, and chewing with her mouth closed. The story is simple and clever, and not at all didactic. Glasser paints Ruby as an impetuous, rosy-cheeked girl with a creative imagination and lots of charm. The playful drawings depict an excited Ruby shouting and pushing to tell everyone her news while imagining herself as a proper young lady wearing frilly gowns in elaborately drawn palace settings. Even the lettering for "The Queen" becomes increasingly ornate as Ruby's anticipation grows. She's not disappointed when her hostess turns out to be Grandma. This book will fill a need for girls who can't get enough books about princesses in pink.-Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT