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
"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.