Moi and Marie Antoinette
Illustrations by Amy Young
Amazing. Adorable. Lovely. Haunting. Unforgettable.
These are all words that can be used to describe Lynn Cullen's forthcoming book, "Moi and Marie Antoinette". Amazing in that it was so well researched, and contained so many valuable facts and trivia about Marie Antoinette. Did you know that when she was married to the future king of France, she was forced to stop at an island before reaching France, and was stripped of all her belongings, except her pet pug, which she would not part with? The story in Cullen's book is told by the pug, Sebastian. Adorable, as in the illustrations are enchanting, and so beautiful. The world of Marie Antoinette comes to life in the darling illustrations carefully crafted by Amy Young. Lovely, in that the prose and the illustrations complement each other so very, very well. It's clear that Cullen and Young must have spent a great deal of time together, to produce such a work of art. Haunting, in that every adult reader knows what Marie Antoinette's fate will be, and although this is not mentioned in the story, only in a brief afterword, the adult reader can not help but read this and feel a bit somber, wishing her life turned out to have a different ending. Unforgettable. This book is, in this reader's opinion, the best children's book of 2006. The characters are finely tuned, with the pug, being a bit snobby, narrating impeccably, and Marie Antoinette, her mother, husband, and daughter all seeming like poeple who just happened to be the victims of birth and circumstance. A must read, this book is very highly recommended.