Written by Sarah Ellis, Illustrated by Dušan Petričić
Red Deer Press, 2006
Once there was a queen called Queen Daisy who had a great deal of trouble with her feet. Those feet did not want to behave themselves in a royal way at all.
This castle contains: A queen and a prince
The queen’s feet seem to have a mind of their own. They often refuse to wear proper shoes, choosing instead to wear heavy boots, flip-flops or fuzzy slippers. Sometimes they want to show off her painted toenails and wear no shoes at all. They’re known to break into dances at awkward times and take her places other than the places that she’s supposed to be, such as into a goldfish pond during a garden party. One day, they create an incident by kicking a visiting king in the ankle. Queen Daisy writes a letter of apology, but that’s just not enough. So all the wisest people get together to discuss the best way to deal with the issue. The queen’s feet agree to behave properly most of the time and they set aside one hour per day to behave however they wish. This works out well and all the queen has to deal with is tired feet, which her husband rubs for her.
Author Sarah Ellis conceived the idea for this book during a long meeting during which her feet got restless and she wondered how royalty managed to behave like royalty at all times. I found myself thinking of my sister, whose feet also love to wear flip-flops and never conform to what others think of them. The idea that it’s the queen herself making these decisions (and blaming them on her poor feet) is pretty comical and may either sail over kids’ heads or make complete sense, since kids are often fond of shifting blame.
Illustrator Dušan Petričić uses Ecoline watercolor and pen and ink to fill Queen Daisy’s world with bright colors. It had to be tough to create the artwork for a story centered so completely around feet, which are difficult to present as charming. He keeps the artistic style humorous and cartoony. This book was cute and funny, and I feel Queen Daisy’s pain, since my feet often refuse to wear shoes at all. The ending of the book seemed to be missing something, but I can’t put my finger on what it was exactly.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that knowing you have a little time to do what you WANT to do helps you deal with all the time you have to spend on the things you HAVE to do.