Not for kids.The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle
is a story by Wisconsin author Patrick Rothfuss, better known for his Heroic Fantasy
best seller The Name of the Wind
. Released in March 2010, it's a fairy tale
about a princess and her teddy bear, Mr. Whiffle
Don't let the saccharine visuals (by Nate Taylor
) fool you; this book is most definitely not for young children, unless you want to emotionally scar them for life. For adults, on the other hand, it's one of the best parodies of fairy tales in the vein (no pun intended) of the Brothers Grimm. As Rothfuss puts it
, "I think of it as Calvin and Hobbes
, with some Edward Gorey
The book focuses on the titular duo, as well as a mysterious "thing under the bed"
. It has three separate endings
; unlike the Choose Your Own Adventure
series, however, it's meant to be read in a linear fashion. How the story ends depends on where you decide to stop reading, so you get a good ending
, a bad ending
, or..."the one with the teeth".
- Author Nickname: Rothfuss refers to the third ending as "the one with the teeth". That's a good sign.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: The result of reading all the way through.
- Companion Cube: Mr. Whiffle to the Princess.
- Content Warnings: See Snicket Warning Label below.
- Crap Saccharine World: Oh, it looks nice, sure... until you get to the teeth.
- Cute Monster Girl: The Princess.
- Derailed Fairy Tale: According to Patrick Rothfuss, this story was a real-life example.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: And kittens.
- Foreshadowing: For the third ending, here and there. For example, look at the castle gates when the Princess and Mr. Whiffle search for the kitten. The lock is on the outside.
- Fractured Fairy Tale: And how.
- Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Played straight and subverted; in the first part, the Princess stages a massive battle with her and Mr. Whiffle against all the rest of her dolls, which are vanquished. Mr. Whiffle, on the other hand, is loved and cared for by the Princess.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Subverted depending on whether you pass the second ending.
- Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: 400 leather-bound editions of the book exist, autographed by both author and artist. They sold out fast.
- Marzipan House: Where the Princess lives.
- Multiple Endings: As stated above, the book is meant to be read in a linear fashion, but will be different depending on which of the three endings you choose.
- Good end: The thing under the bed reaches for the Princess...and tickles her.
- Bad end: The Princess gets a kitten, but loses it. That night, she looks up to see something in the thing's hand, dripping down onto her face.
- "The one with the teeth": The monster was holding a melting piece of marzipan, and was taking care of the kitten in hopes of becoming friends with the Princess. She promptly devours both of them and makes their bones into a tent whereupon she has a tea party with Mr. Whiffle.
- Our Monsters Are Different: The "thing under the bed" sounds like a traditional boogeyman; it lives under the bed of a child and stays out of the dark. The first ending subverts him when he simply tickles the Princess. The second ending plays him straighter after he seems to have gruesomely killed the kitten. The third ending turns it completely around, having the thing be friendly, while the Princess is the real monster.
- Precision S Strike: See Snicket Warning Label below.
- Schmuck Bait: This book looks very much like a children's story, from the title to the style of writing to the very cute illustrations.
- Snicket Warning Label: Some copies of the book bear a sticker with Mr. Whiffle's face and the text, "This shit is not for kids. Seriously." It's the only place where any profanity is used, but it's enough to get the point across.
- Sophisticated as Hell: See Snicket Warning Label above.