Queen Elizabeth II and Floella Benjamin top our list of 6 children’s books for May


The long-awaited Jubilee celebrations are about to begin, says @newburytoday children’s book reviewer CAROLINE FRANKLIN. Those of us who have lived through several milestones in our Queen’s reign will know that such occasions rarely occur and will be remembered by those who participated in them. I remember being the anchor lady for a women’s tug-of-war team desperately trying to pull the guys over a river in Ramsbury. It was said that we had succeeded and we received the award, but these men who are still there will never recognize that they have been beaten.

Then there was the thrill of seeing a venerable, longtime doctor in our village, sitting astride a log and trying to hit his opponent with a pillow as part of the celebratory games held in the village. What were we celebrating? I don’t remember – except it was a royal event and it was fun. Hopefully good weather, no covid and lots of fun for this year’s celebration.

In the meantime, there are some great books for kids to read.

Queen Elizabeth II

“On June 2, 1953, a young woman named Elizabeth drove through the streets of London in a 200-year-old golden carriage.” So, Sally Morgan’s Queen Elizabeth 11 begins and continues to reveal the hard work that comes with being the ruler of our country.

Along with the story of his reign, there are some fascinating facts sprinkled along the way. I learned that the Imperial State Crown, worn for the official opening of Parliament, contains not only pearls that belonged to Queen Elizabeth 1, but a sapphire set in a ring that would have been worn by Edward the Confessor there over a thousand years ago and ‘a strangely shaped ruby ​​which was worn as a ring by King Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt.’ Fascinating – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Excerpts from several of her speeches show the Queen as a practical woman who accepts the situation and who, like all of us, loves her family, no matter what mistakes they make. Queen Elizabeth 11 would be a great book to help kids ages 9 and up understand the lady whose devotion to her country is where all the celebrations start.

Published by Scholastic at £5.99 (PB).

Come to England
Come to England

A new word has entered the vocabulary of young children lately. Unfortunately, the word is ‘refugee’ and too many people have to leave the country they love to keep their families safe.

However, in Floella Benjamin’s Coming to England, A True Story, her family was overjoyed when they received an invitation to leave Trinidad to come here. Her Dardie (father) left first, and one day the letter arrived, which meant it was time for them to leave on “a ship like a floating skyscraper.” I found it so touching that, knowing it will be cold and having no warm clothes, the girls pack up their best dresses, ready to meet the Queen. It should have been wonderful, but London wasn’t very welcoming and the people weren’t nice. However, little by little, they made friends and they started to feel at home.

Floella Benjamin was ten years old when her family and many others came to London to fulfill the dream of a new life and found it was not what they expected. This book, a true story for children aged five and up, brings family, dreams and the importance of caring to life. Thankfully, many years later, Floella, now chair of the Windrush Memorial Committee, did indeed meet the Queen.

Published by Macmillan at £6.99.

Mother Goose nursery rhymes
Mother Goose nursery rhymes

There can be no one better than Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo to breathe new life into nursery rhymes for today’s children. Of course, the old favorites are here – Mary is still tending to her lamb, Jack and Jill are trudging up the hill and poor old Humpty Dumpty still hasn’t learned how to sit safely on this wall – but with these and a myriad of other familiar nursery rhymes – as well as some new ones – there are a few that are less familiar. I hadn’t heard of Chook, Chook, Chook or Gray Goose and Gander.

Scheffler brings a freshness to all the characters with charming illustrations done by someone who has humor in their brush, as they are meant to put a smile on the face of the reader and the little listener. They certainly succeed. The Mother Goose nursery rhymes are perfectly described on the cover as “A First Treasure” and are a must for a young child’s library.

Published by Macmillan at £9.99.

you can draw
you can draw

Liz Pichon’s intention in You Can Draw is to encourage everyone to “take a pencil, take some paper and try to draw”. Author of the Tom Gates books, Tom and his loved ones play an important role in encouraging children aged five and up to try and DON’T WORRY ABOUT MAKING A MISTAKE!

There are instructions on doodling, patterning, tracing, as well as drawing things like dog zombies (don’t forget to add the slime). Wacky, fantastical, colorful, full of tricks and encouragement, it’s a surefire way to get kids to pick up that crayon and get started.

Published by Scholastic at £6.99.

More peas
More peas
I am the bus driver
I am the bus driver

Finally, two books to entertain the youngest.

You have to smile at the horrified face of the young boy on the cover of No More Peas. Young Oliver doesn’t like to eat vegetables. Pizzas, fries, burgers, yes. Carrots, broccoli (I’m with him on that) and especially peas – NO.

However, Oliver’s father is smart and interests his young son in growing the hated vegetables. – That works! But will the boy ever be persuaded to eat peas? YES HE WILL! Hooray!

The colorful illustrations of Oliver and his dog (who no longer needs to eat Oliver’s vegetables) make No More Peas by Madeleine Cook and Erika Meza a fun book with, of course, a great message for those who don’t. -vegetable eaters three years of age or older. so.

Published by Oxford University Press at £6.99 (PB).

I’m The Bus Driver, brilliantly illustrated by David Semple, is a simple treat to share between adults and children aged three and up. Besides discovering such important things as the uniform a bus driver should wear and the number of your bus – which is number 4 by the way – there is more to do along the route.

In addition to entertainment, the main purpose of this book is to teach children about color, which it does well. It’s part of a fun series where the young bus driver can progress to driving an excavator, fire truck or tractor, all designed to encourage problem-solving and problem-solving skills. early learning. Simply fun.

Published by Oxford University Press at £6.99 (PB).


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