Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff

206p. Penguin/Razorbill. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-1-59514-567-3.
Gr 2–5—A humorous spin on the adage, "you can't judge a book by its cover." In clever rhyming verse, Weston tells the story of the people of the Kingdom of Spiff and several surrounding kingdoms who care more about appearances than character. Poor Frannie, the Princess of Spiff, is harassed by her father, King Dandy von Fop, to get her nose out of her books and put on something other than pajamas. In nearby Spud, citizens are shunned for being unfashionable and having a muddy realm. As the kingdoms come together for a ball, both Princess Frannie and the newly crowned Prince Puggly of Spud face harsh criticism from the stylish people who surround them. Frannie and Puggly flee separately but find each other and devise a plan to teach those around them a lesson in what is truly important. Plot, theme, and writing style make this a terrific read-aloud. Creative formatting and use of various typefaces add to the fun.—Erica Thorsen Payne, Meriwether Lewis Elementary School, Charlottesville, VA

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