The Most Wonderful Thing in the World

Vivian French, Angela Barrett

The Most Wonderful Thing in the World
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The Most Wonderful Thing in the World

Vivian French, Angela Barrett

From the author of the Tiara Club series comes a gently satirical fairy story for our times, illustrated by one of today’s finest artists, Angela Barrett.

When a king and a queen promise to marry their daughter Lucia to the man who can show them the most wonderful thing in the world, suitors descend on the palace bearing gifts. Roses, jewels and exotic birds; dancing girls, wind machines and mythical beasts - but nothing feels quite right. As the last suitor leaves, his weapons of mass destruction rejected, the king and queen are exhausted. But when a shy, young man, who isn’t a suitor at all, steps forward, they finally understand what the most wonderful thing in the world really is.

Vivian French’s masterful retelling of a forgotten story is both funny and heart-warming, and Angela Barrett’s breathtaking illustrations give life to an enchanting and romantic fairytale city.


Oh my, this book is so pretty and the detail in the pictures so exquisitely delightful, I didn’t want it to end. In the way of so many fairytales, a suitable husband must be found for the princess and the edict is that to win her hand ‘he’ must present the King and Queen with ‘the most wonderful thing’. While this is happening the princess has requested that before she has to settle down she would love to explore their city. As all manner of grand and bewitching items are paraded before the royal parents by hopeful suitors, the princess is quietly and unobtrusively finding her own Wonderful Thing!

Vivienne French is a fine storyteller and Angela Barrett has long been one of my favourite illustrators and together they have created an enchanting story for children 3 and up.

Alexa Dretzke is a Children’s & YA Book Specialist at Readings Hawthorn.

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