Title: The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed
Authors: Patrick Rothfuss, illustrated by Nate Taylor
Publisher: Subterranean Press
Author Website: www.patrickrothfuss.com
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Challenge: 100 Books 10, 1010 Challenge (Fantasy cateogry)
This is not a book for children.
It looks like a children's book. It has pictures. It has a saccharine-sweet title. The main characters are a little girl and her teddy bear. But all of that is just protective coloration. The truth is, this is a book for adults with a dark sense of humor and an appreciation of old-school faerie tales.
There are three separate endings to the book. Depending on where you stop, you are left with an entirely different story. One ending is sweet, another is horrible. The last one is the true ending, the one with teeth in it.
The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle is a dark twist on the classic children's picture-book. I think of it as Calvin and Hobbes meets Coraline, with some Edward Gorey mixed in.
Simply said: This is not a book for children.
The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed is a perfectly deceptive little book. At first glance, it looks like your typical children's picture book. It's the size of a picture book. It has an image of the young Princess playing with her teddy bear, Mr. Whiffle, on the cover and they are adorable. As you read through, you discover a typical tale of a little girl and her teddy bear best friend. Yet, there seems something slightly dark and sinister about the entire thing.
There are three endings in the book. If you stop at the first, you are left with a sweet little story. If you continue on to the second ending, you are left with something slightly more sinister. And if you continue on to the final ending of the book, the sticker that came with the book which resembles your typical book award sticker and reads, "This shit is not for kids. Seriously." becomes fairly obvious. Yes, the final ending is what really makes this book something not for children. I think older kids will find it amusing, but probably definitely not for the younger crowd.
Would I pick up a sequel to the book? Possibly. There really isn't much to the story itself, but the black and white illustrations by Nate Taylor are fantastic. You really need to look at each one, because while they seem all sweet and innocent, there are dark and creepy nuances scattered throughout. I think fans of Edward Gorey and Tim Burton would really enjoy this bizarre, creepy little book.