Sunday, November 29, 2009

REVIEW: Patricia von Pleasantsquirrel

Proimos, J.  (2009).  Patricia von Pleasantsquirrel.  New York:  Dial Books for Young Readers.


30-Second Plot Summary:  Patricia sees herself as a princess (meaning it's her right to order everyone around).  After reading Where the Wild Things Are, she decides to fly off and seek out her own kingdom.

This books shows how a book can spark a young reader's imagination and perhaps spark more readers' imaginations.  It would be possible to argue that while Where the Wild Things Are shares a boy's adventure into the imagination, Patricia von Pleasantsquirrel shares a girl's adventure into the imagination.

While this picturebook features standard narration, Proimos also makes use of dialogue boxes and arrows to share Patricia's story.  The illustrations are minimalistic, with mainly grey, purple and yellow.

As may be obvious by the title (Pleasantsquirrel!  Hehe) author/illustrator Proimos has a some of fun with language and imagery in this picturebook.  I particularly like Patricia's princess-ly crest which is in the endpapers.

If a teacher drew students' attention to the figure, the kids could draw their own personal crest in response, either incorporating elements of their name or interests.


Patricia von Pleastansquirrel shares many of the imagined duties of a princess (including never taking off her crown, reading everyone a bedtime story, and waving often) a teacher can use this to discuss some of the realities of being a princess--or at the very least, what one would have to learn in school.

Since Where the Wild Things Are is mentioned in the book and sparks Patricia's plan the picturebook could easily be paired with Patricia von Pleasantsquirrel.  There's also an intertextual reference to The Giving Tree as well.

The book includes a moral about respecting and following rules.  Teachers could easily emphasize that, if they so chose.  Another option would be discussing how the experience of going to a new place can help you to appreciate home more.


"Once there was a princess who had not yet found her princessdom.  Her name was Patricia von Pleasantsquirrel."

"To the dungeon with you!"

"If a silly boy with no social graces could be made king with no effort at all, then imagine how easy it would be for me to find my princessdom."


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