© 2000 by Thomas F. Yezerski


Queen of the World

  • written and illustrated by Thomas F. Yezerski
  • Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2000
  • 32 pp., full-color illustrations
  • ages 6-8
  • ISBN-10: 0-374-36165-7
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-374-36165-5


Three sisters with nothing in common but their parents are always fighting over who is the prettiest, the strongest, or just the best. All Mom wants is for her daughters to get along. The middle sister tells the story of how the girls hold a contest to decide, once and for all, who is Queen of the World, forever, with no taking it back. They make birthday presents for their Mom, and whoever’s present Mom likes best is the winner. The contest has an unexpected end, and the girls figure out what it really takes to be Queen of the World.

Reviews and Awards

Oh, how some siblings will see themselves in this! . . . The story’s familiar charm is elevated by the right-on-target watercolor art, and children will have to do more than just listen to the story if they want to appreciate all the going-on — big details and small are disclosed in the pictures. So are the ever-changing moods of the sisters: Yezerski gets all those dirty looks, moody moments, and, finally, the familial friendliness just right. Even children whose siblings are boys will relate to this.
— Booklist
Best Children’s Books of the Year
— Bank Street Books
Queen of the World opens with one of the clearest statements on the realities of living with siblings ever made in a picture book . . . From this rock-solid, totally on-target beginning (is there a sister or brother anywhere who won’t be chiming in with a fervent chorus of amens?), Yezerski goes on to tell a story remarkable for its low-key telling yet powerful emotional impact . . . As wonderful as so many books are about ‘the new baby at our house,’ there are comparatively few that look beyond baby brother or sister’s arrival to the day-to-day, year-by-year reality that follows. This one does, and does it surpassingly well.
— The Horn Book, starred review

© 2000 by Thomas F. Yezerski


Some might say the characters in this book are much like my own sisters. I can’t say whether that’s true or not. One thing is for sure: I know first-hand it’s very hard for three sisters (and one brother) to get along all the time, especially when they are very different and very competitive. Annie, Karen and Mary Kay couldn’t be less alike, but each one is a Queen of the World in her own right. I’m proud to report they’re achieving excellence in biology, public relations, and theatre, respectively. In addition to my own observations, I learned a lot about sisterhood from a wonderful book called Sisters, by Carol Saline, with photography by Sharon J. Wohlmuth.