The Unruly Queen

( 1 )

Overview

Fifty-two nannies in fifty-two weeks — and Minerva von Vyle is still impossible! Can anyone tame this spoiled, wild child?

"But what sort of queen lives with beasts in a cave?"
"The sort," Nanny answered, "who never behaves."

Minerva rules her household with shrieks and commands, demanding candy for dinner and refusing to entertain any discussion of bedtime. Indeed, fifty-two nannies have run screaming from ...

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Overview

Fifty-two nannies in fifty-two weeks — and Minerva von Vyle is still impossible! Can anyone tame this spoiled, wild child?

"But what sort of queen lives with beasts in a cave?"
"The sort," Nanny answered, "who never behaves."

Minerva rules her household with shrieks and commands, demanding candy for dinner and refusing to entertain any discussion of bedtime. Indeed, fifty-two nannies have run screaming from the house. But when the elegant and bespectacled fifty-third nanny, undaunted by Minerva’s tirades, appears on the scene to crown her young charge "the Unruly Queen," tutu-clad Minerva is thrilled — until she hears the details of the position. E. S. Redmond’s brisk, bouncy rhymes and vibrant, delightfully detailed artwork portray Minerva’s unyielding awfulness and Nanny’s unshakable calm with comedic flair, prompting even the most unmanageable youngsters to be careful what they wish for.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Minerva von Vyle is a rich, neglected brat who terrorizes the housekeeping staff and runs through 52 nannies. But Number 53 has Minerva’s number. Crowning Minerva the Unruly Queen, the nanny spins a story of the girl going to rule at remote, forbidding Petulant Peak, where Minerva can be her “true self,” surrounded by creatures that look like they’ve walked off the set of Beetlejuice. “You can smash things to bits! Throw your food on the floor!” extols the nanny. “Nobody’s going to care anymore!” Minerva, however, gradually realizes that trading her current cushy situation for a far more primitive life—however unpoliced—isn’t such a great deal and becomes a model citizen. Redmond’s (Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo) spidery ink lines, meticulous texturing, and high camp style are ghoulish fun. But as comic macabre, this effort doesn’t quite hit the mark—Redmond can’t seem to decide whether Minerva is just a misunderstood Bossypants or a true Bad Seed. Still, this study in reverse psychology should keep gothically inclined children occupied until the next Tim Burton movie comes out. Ages 3–up. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
A nanny - Mary Poppins' acidic cousin? - outwits a spoiled fusspot using reverse psychology... For readers in the mood for a little menace.
—Kirkus Reviews

Redmond follows in the delightfully subversive footsteps of Shel Silverstein in this tale of Minerva von Vyle, a child so rude and spoiled that she has been through 52 nannies in as many weeks... Redmond’s clever rhyming verse trips off the tongue, and her scratchy, vintage-style illustrations bring to mind a slightly sunnier Edward Gorey.
—School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"Minerva von Vyle was a mischievous child / who was coddled and spoiled and allowed to run wild." Her parents pay her little attention and so she wreaks havoc throughout her home. After going through fifty-two nannies in as many weeks, Minerva encounters, to her initial delight, a nanny who crowns her the Unruly Queen. She is not so sure, however, when she learns that this means she will live in a cave with beasts, as befits a queen who never behaves. Insisting that she can behave, Minerva begins to change her previous behavior. Nanny warns her that she may lose her crown, but Minerva decides she would rather stay where she is and behave. The sassy lass on the front of the paper jacket, framed in a thorny oval, invites us into the comic adventure. Finely wrought black pen and ink line drawings with tints of watercolors create a cast of characters and detailed environments guaranteed for fun. Nanny is a delight, with rat's nest hair, an aquiline nose, and a quartet of odd creatures. On the cover is an elegant regal blind stamp of the Unruly Queen's initials in another thorny frame. Readers will appreciate the Nanny's cleverness. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Pre S-Gr 2—Redmond follows in the delightfully subversive footsteps of Shel Silverstein in this tale of Minerva von Vyle, a child so rude and spoiled that she has been through 52 nannies in as many weeks. Nanny number 53 arrives bearing the news that the Order of Nannies has crowned Minerva "The Unruly Queen," the child most difficult to control, and that she will now rule from Petulant Peak, a place full of beasts and caves, where no one behaves. Through a mix of supreme confidence and canny reverse psychology, Nanny finally tames the wild child. (Minerva: "I am going to go and get ready for bed!" Nanny: "Oh, I wouldn't…not if I were you. Just think of the damage behaving could do.") Redmond's clever rhyming verse trips off the tongue, and her scratchy, vintage-style illustrations bring to mind a slightly sunnier Edward Gorey.—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
Kirkus Reviews
A nanny--Mary Poppins' acidic cousin?--outwits a spoiled fusspot using reverse psychology. On the title page, a maid kneels, scrubbing at a dark line vandalized onto wallpaper. Turn the page and find a girl lengthening the line with her pencil as she roller skates along. She looks back toward the maid wickedly. A passel of servants at her mercy, Minerva von Vyle brings her pink pony indoors and graffitis a punk hairdo and bikini onto her father's military portrait. Beef Wellington is thrown: "Now bring me a plateful of candy instead… / and don't even think about mentioning bed!" "[F]ifty-two nannies in fifty-two weeks" depart; the 53rd shrewdly crowns Minerva "the Unruly Queen." Will Minerva's castle have a fancy throne? Nope, she'll rule over "a dark distant place known as Petulant Peak," which is beset by beasties and where, worst of all, "[n]obody's going to care anymore" about her. Cowed, Minerva runs to the bathtub. Scrubbed and meekly abed, she's permitted to decline the Unruly crown--though nanny's final threat is far from comforting. Rollicking verse, stumbling only occasionally, lends a playful air to the otherwise foreboding mood. In pen and ink, Redmond gives her stylized, exaggerated figures barbs and sharp edges everywhere. Tertiary, unsaturated green and purple watercolors balance out the busy pages. For readers in the mood for a little menace. (Picture book. 4-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763634452
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 979,506
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

E. S. Redmond is the author-illustrator of Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo, her debut picture book. She lives in Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    I love this book!!!!

    I just read this to my children and they loved it. When I finished, they pleaded with me to read it again! This is definitely our new favorite bedtime story. Now I know what I'm getting my daughter's friends for their birthdays! This is a must-read!

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