Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff
There is more to a person than appearance. However, in the Kingdom of Spiff, people feel that fashion is everything. Everyone that is, but the Princess of Spiff, Francesca. Meanwhile her father, King Dandy, is a slave to fashion and can’t fathom why his daughter lounges around in pajamas, reading all day. When Prince Hep of the Kingdom of Hip arrives he is extremely rude to Francesca by telling her that she dresses appalling and her dad must be embarrassed by her. It makes her wonder if her dad really is embarrassed, and she begins to doubt if her dad loves her. Sobbing, she races out of the kingdom, never wanting to return again. Is she alone in her slovenly ways?
"The themes of the book are important for young people to think about. In a society that gravitates toward celebrities, clothes and fashion, we still need to focus on important matters like friendship and feelings.
A little bit away is the Kingdom of Spud, a place covered in mud, where people wear outrageous outfits. In this Kingdom lives Prince Puggly, who receives an invitation from the Kingdom of Spiff to attend a fancy ball. He feels unsure about showing up because he is sorely lacking in the fashion department. In the end he decides to go. What a fiasco!
The ball is an extravagant affair. Everyone is decked out to the max. The fashionista, Miss Ruby La Rue, takes one look at Prince Puggly and makes fun of his outfit in front of everyone there. She completely puts him down, making him feel small and awful about himself. He flees the Kingdom with a bruised ego.
Prince Puggly stops to rest by a bridge. While sitting there, he begins to complain about how mean and nasty Miss La Rue was to him. Suddenly, Princess Francesca chimes in that she understands where he is coming from and that people shouldn’t judge one another by their clothes. During all this turmoil they find friendship. They also develop a plan to get everyone back!
They gather the grossest materials they can find from the forest such as fungus, slime, spiders and slugs. Then they make outfits and head back to the ball. Everyone stops and stares when they enter. They tell everyone that organic is in. Miss La Rue loves it, and organic becomes the new fashion trend. In fact, Miss La Rue embraces the trend so everyone will have to keep buying clothes from her because the old clothes rot right off.
Puggly and Francesca have the last laugh! Then they leave the palace to head to the Kingdom of Spud. When they arrive the people of Spud aren’t pleased that he didn’t hold his ground at the ball. Puggly explains how the people made fun of him and his feelings were too hurt to stick around. You’ll have to keep reading to find out if his kingdom accepts him back, to find out what becomes of King Dandy and much more
PRINCE PUGGLY OF SPUD AND THE KINGDOM OF SPIFF is a highly entertaining book written completely in rhyme. It’s a book that begs to be read aloud. The themes of the book are important for young people to think about. In a society that gravitates toward celebrities, clothes and fashion, we still need to focus on important matters like friendship and feelings. The characters are lovable, fallible and have a lot to learn. Once they get their revenge, they come face to face with a big challenge. If the tables turn and someone that was mean to you suddenly looks to you for help. What should you do? Do you treat others as you want to be treated (even if that person wasn’t so nice in the past?) The author gets these themes across in a witty fashion which isn’t the least bit preachy.
Reviewed by Kathleen M. Purcell
Reviewed by Kathleen M. Purcell on February 15, 2013