There Once is a Queen by Michael Morpurgo
“There once is a Queen ever constant to her people…”
From the Nation’s Favourite Storyteller Sir Michael Morpurgo comes a poetic celebration of our Queen and longest reigning monarch, beautifully illustrated in watercolour by acclaimed artist Michael Foreman.
There once was a little girl, a princess, who became a queen, our Queen Elizabeth. Now, seventy years later, her reign as the longest serving female monarch in history has seen her stand steadfast through triumph and tribulation, and through the monumental changes that have shaped our world, as this remarkable queen has remained devoted to crown, to country… and a corgi or two!
Beginning with the queen as a little girl, planting an oak tree with her father, There Once is a Queen follows her incredible story in a way that will bring this historic reign vividly to life for readers around the world, big and small. An exquisite gift book and commemoration of the Platinum Jubilee, it marks a unique moment in our shared history and will be a treasured keepsake for generations to come.
I really enjoyed how straight away Morpurgo links his story book to The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser which was an epic poem written for Queen Elizabeth I. Thankfully, Morpurgo’s book is not as long as Spenser’s poem.
This little book is the life of the Queen starting with her as a little girl planting an oak tree, then a princess and then as a queen. But whenever the queen wanted some peace and quiet she always returns to that oak tree she planted with her father. I loved the link of the oak tree because an oak tree can live to a vast age and is a symbol of endurance and that is what our queen is also a symbol of.
The book is set almost as a fairytale but still puts across how hardworking, kind and beautiful our Queen is. The beautiful illustrations by Michael Foreman also really add to this beautiful little book.
The main thing this book does though in my opinion is show children that the Queen once was a little girl, she once was a child who had the same dreams and thoughts as a child. It shows the Queen as a human rather than a mythical lady who lives in palaces.
Morpurgo puts the life of the Queen in language that is perfect for children and adults alike and keeps it short and snappy enough for children not to lose concentration or interest in the book. The book makes a beautiful gift edition and keepsake for adults and children who want to remember the Jubilee. Overall, I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons.
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About the author
Michael Morpurgo has written over 130 books, many of them award winning. His best known work is War Horse which has also been turned into a stage play and a film. In 2003 he was made Children’s Laureate. He set up a charity with his wife called Farms for City Children and in 1999 he was awarded an MBE for his charitable work. In 2017 he was awarded a Knighthood for his charitable work and literature.