The Little Queen is one of the most beautiful books I have read this year. It also has a half-chapter turn on a poop joke. This dichotomy is one of the reasons I love it so much.
To start, we have a little queen, who loses her parents and sets out to find out who she is, what she's about, and how, in fact, to be a little queen. She learns much about being just about everyone else in the world--book sniffers, season painters, animal singers and other curious folks--but still, in the end, does not know how to be a little queen. Along the way, she circles the world, falls in love, and discovers, in fact, what all the folk of her little world are meant to do.
Geddes has such an original, poetic way of writing--phrases and ideas circle back on each others, weaving like song, and full of wistful ideas that unfold in second and third readings. The story is a poetic fairy tale for the ageless, in the tradition of The Man with Dancing Eyes and The Size of the World, and ends with two women in love and making the little world a better place--what could be more delightful? With heart and soul, in a whimsical world come alive with art and philosophy (and with beautiful airy illustrations by Sara Zieve Miller), The Little Queen is a gorgeous read.