'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 18 September 2019

Review: Queen Celine

Who knew one little picture book could pack so much punch. In this seemingly ordinary story about an ordinary girl who becomes queen of the most beautiful rock pool, Matt Shanks manages to convey a powerful environmental, political and social message, without being didactic.

Queen Celine thinks her seaside kingdom is so perfect, she decides to build a wall around it, to keep intruders out and make sure nothing will ever change.

But when you try to stop nature, change inevitably comes and Celine is forced to watch as her actions turn the kingdom to ruin.

Fortunately, the queen is self-reflective and quick to admit her wrong, and she sets about restoring her kingdom to its former glory. This means recognising it was perfect as it was and should be enjoyed by everyone, even the seagulls.

Matt has created a vibrant and lively story, complete with detailed illustrations of lovable sea creatures and the beauty of the ocean.

Celine is an endearing character, determined and self-assured, and Matt portrays her with charm and humour. The journey from indignation to realisation of her 'royal mistake' is completely natural, with a subtle message of recognising and righting our wrongs.

It also teaches children about inclusivity and sharing, along with the importance of caring for the environment, making it a must for families and classrooms.

Title: Queen Celine
Author/Illustrator: Matt Shanks
Publisher: Walker Books, $24.99
Publication Date: February 2019
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781760650346
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book