Reviews for Whipping Boy


Publishers Weekly Reviews 1986 May #4
With his flair for persuading readers to believe in the ridiculous, Fleischman scores a hit with his new creation. Sis's skillful pictures emphasize particular events in the adventures of the orphan Jemmy, kept in his king's palace to be thrashed for the offenses by the royal heir, known as Prince Brat. It is forbid den to punish Brat, whose tricks multi ply until Jemmy is tempted to escape the daily round of flogging. But the prince himself takes off and forces the whip ping boy to go with him. As they get into and out of trouble on the outside, Jemmy hears that he has been accused of abducting Brat. When the prince ar ranges for their return to the palace, poor Jemmy fears the worst, but things turn out for the best at the story's satis fying close. Colorful types like thieves called Hold-Your-Nose Billy, Betsy and her dancing bear Petunia, et al., increase the fun. (711 Copyright 1986 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1986 May
Gr 5-7 Roles are changed when young Prince Brat, as everyone calls him (he is so altogether rotten that ``Not even black cats would cross his path''), runs away with Jemmy, his whipping boy (the commoner who takes the Prince's punishments). Because Brat has never learned to write and Jemmy can, a couple of prince-nappers decide that Jemmy is the real prince. Chiefly through Jemmy's cleverness, the two escape and return to court. Brat has learned much and changed for the better during his adventures. He winds up calling Jemmy ``friend,'' and he is certain to be a better prince hereafter. This whimsical, readable story delights in the manner of Bill Brittain's books The Wish Giver (1983) and The Devil's Donkey (1981, both Harper). Full-page black-and-white illustrationssomewhat grotesque but always complementaryadd attractiveness to the story. The mistaken identity plot is always a good one: children, even fairly old ones, like disguises and this kind of mix-up. Supplementary characters are well-drawn both by Fleischman and by Sis, so the whole hangs together in basic appeal. Readers could well move from The Whipping Boy to its much longer cousin, Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper. George Gleason, Department of English, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield Copyright 1986 Cahners Business Information.

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