This book made me realize that I would really like to know more about Marie Antoinette. She is such a famous historical character, but I feel like everything that I know about her is hearsay. Like that whole, "let them eat cake" thing, totally false, but that is what people know about her. Perhaps I will have to look into some more literature on her. At any rate, I liked this book for several reasons. The first being that it is told from the point of view of her puppy- and I love puppies ( a shocking revelation I know.) The other reason is because of the historical content. It is about history and a famous historical character, but it is told in a way that is easy to relate to. As I have said before, animals are such a good way to relate things to children. In this case, we see the life of Marie Antoinette through the eyes of her beloved pet Pug, who the author named Sebastian. Interestingly, Marie was only aloud to bring a few personal possessions with her into her new life in France, and her Pug was one of them. I feel like this fact would make this figure relatable to students because many students will have dogs and many more will have some kind of pet. The other thing that is kind of nice here is that because it is from the puppy's point of view, it is pretty simple even though very complicated things were going on in actuality. One thing that I did not like about this book was that it was actually pretty sad. Fitting I guess because her life wasn't exactly happy, but I was sad for Sebastian. In the story as Marie became more of a queen she quit having time for her puppy so he became lonely. Silly? Maybe. My boyfriend laughed at me when he looked over at me reading this book and found me very distraught. Still though, to me, every dog anywhere could by my Louie so I relate to them maybe a little more than I should. Anyway, the ending is happy, because Marie's daughter finds Sebastian and adopts him as her own and he is happy and loved again. At the very end of the book, the author has an actual short biography of Marie Antoinette, who was actually called Antonia or Antoinette by her family. I liked this because some of the facts from the book were not quite true. For example, her marriage was not happy at all, and in the story it seems like it was pretty okay.
This book would be wonderful of course for introducing genre to students. This is historical, it is a biography, and a fiction book all rolled into one. I think that students would enjoy learning about Marie Antoinette this way. Ages 4 to 8.