Lynne Cox’s Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas tells the true tale of Christchurch’s elephant seal Elizabeth, who made her home in the city’s Avon River in the 1970s – 1980s. Many of the city’s human residents think Elizabeth will be better off living with other elephant seals – especially after she decides that the middle of the road is a good place to sunbathe – but Elizabeth has other ideas… No matter how far away people tow her, she finds her way back to the Avon river!
Eventually Elizabeth wins the people over, and she becomes something of an icon to Christchurch. It’s a tale of determination, and reveals just how much personality wild animals can have. Shown through the eyes of a young boy living in Christchurch, Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas is set to be a classic, and is a lovely representation of a slice of the city’s history.
This hardback picture book is illustrated by Brian Floca, who’s illustrations bring the elephant seal, and 1970s Christchurch to life. The only thing missing from this picture book is a section at the end to give readers more information on the real Elizabeth. It would have made a useful addition, particularly given the age range of 5-8 that the book is suitable for.