Posts tagged ‘kings and queens’

#BUG OFF…

The Queen Who Banished Bugs, A Tale of Bees, Butterflies, Ants, and Other Pollinators

Written by Ferris Kelly Robinson

Illustrated by Mary Ferris Kelly

King Claude and Queen Libertine rule the kingdom of Dunce. The queen is overbearing and obstinate. King Claude spends his days trying to appease her. One day a bee lands on her heel. The queen immediately kills it. That does not appease her anger. Queen Libertine banishes every insect in the kingdom. That effectively destroys the food chain. Pollination ceases and crops die. The animals in the kingdom have no food.

The king becomes desperate. He decides to defy the queen. Claude plants a tiny seed that grows into milkweed. Other types of flowers follow. Pollinators return to the kingdom. The king tutors his queen on the importance of pollinators to ensure the food supply of their kingdom.

The author provides an explanation of how pollination works at the end of the tale. Robinson adds a link to resources for learning more about the subject.

This story is written in rhyme. The illustrator provides line drawings with color interspersed throughout the story. I would consider this book more of an early chapter book than a picture book. While it could be a read-aloud for younger children, it will appeal more to readers in the five to eight age range or as a beginning reader.

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CHECKMATE

An Evening with Grandpa: Adventures in Chess Land

Written by Diana Matlin

This chapter book contains a story that achieves two objectives: it teaches a child how to play chess and presents an engaging fairy tale promoting strong female role models.

Annie is sick in bed with a sore throat. To make matters worse, her family is attending The Nutcracker Ballet and she is stuck home with grandpa. Grandpa sticks his nose in his newspaper. He won’t consider playing one of Annie’ s favorite child games. But once he begins telling her a story about a young girl named Pawnie who is enlisted by the Queen to fight for her kingdom, Annie wants to hear more. Grandpa cleverly reveals how to play chess in the tale about two queens and kings who are battling for control of the kingdom. Grandpa includes all the chess players and carefully details their moves and strategies for winning the battle. The white queen promises that if Pawnie successfully gets to the other side, she will become a princess. Annie is enthralled with the tale and eagerly sets out to learn how to play the game of chess with grandpa.

Matlin keeps the plot moving with clever dialogue and a detailed description of how the chess characters can succeed in winning the game by learning the right chess moves. It is a unique way to introduce children to a challenging game of skill. The chapters are kept short and the print font is large, making it a good choice for beginning and reluctant readers. The strong female role model focus combined with the traditional princess protagonist is a powerful magnet for young girls. Highly recommended for budding chess players and readers in the six to ten age group but a fun read for all.

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