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Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Queen's Secret, written by Frieda Wishinsky and illustrated by Loufane. Scholastic, 2010. $16.99 ages 3 and up

"The purse made Kay wonder:
What would a queen need?
A bag full of money?
A good book to read?
A pink velvet cape
in case of a chill?"

Does everyone wonder what the queen has in her purse?

Kay has an innate curiosity about it. In every picture she has seen, the queen is delicately holding a purse. It conjures up a variety of images of Her Majesty as she goes about living her life and the needs that a purse might accomodate.

In rhyming text she shares her questions with readers and assumes that said bag holds a legion of important items, useful at any time of day or night, in any circumstance and at any event. It is with great surprise that Kay chances to see the Queen, in a hat that matches her outfit and without her crown, on a visit to Kay's home town. Kay is awestruck and waits her turn to shake hands with her idol. As they share a moment, the purse takes a tumble and opens wide as it falls at Kay's feet.

Kay is the only one privy to what is inside:

"She stared in surprise.
The queen carried that?
Kay had one just like it,
But pink and quite fat!"

The queen would like it kept secret and Kay makes a solemn promise. Kay never forgets her promise and is rewarded with a special invitation to tea for two...and their teddy bears.

I am always on the lookout for rhyming book for young readers. I love that this one encourages imagination and offers up ideas for future writing for its young audience.

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