KHURANA, Vijay (text) Simon Greiner (illus.) Regal Beagle Random House, 2014 121pp $14.99 pbk ISBN 9780857983701 SCIS 1676277
In this highly improbable tale, the throne of a nameless kingdom is vacant after the death of the Queen. As she had no family members, not even distant ones, the royal scrolls are retrieved from the archives and consulted. They decree that when a monarch dies with no heir ‘the crown shall be passed on to his or her best friend.’ This puts the court in a dilemma because the Queen’s best friend was her beagle, Lucy. While Proctor Kindly has no problem giving the throne to a dog, Lord Runcible does and he undertakes some dastardly deeds to make sure she doesn’t rule. And Lucy herself isn’t sure at first that she wants to be monarch.
While the storyline and character development are simple and straightforward, this chapter book may appeal to newly independent readers. Various design elements of the production, such as crowns at each chapter heading, small birds at the page numbers and full-page drawings, are engaging and the front cover with Lucy wearing a lopsided crown is most endearing.
reviewed by Lynne Babbage