My Mum Is Queen Of The Road by Jennifer Beck
Ari and Isabella play with trucks and diggers, making roads in a sandpit. Ari tells Isabella that his mother is a roadworker who works the Stop/Go sign and is called Queen of the Road. Isabella tries to work out why she is a queen – does she wear diamonds? Does she sit on a throne? Does she have a corgi?
Each time, Ari answers no, and Isabella is puzzled until Ari reveals what it is that makes his Mum a Queen.
This is a really fun book with a cute premise, every Mum is a Queen in their own way, and every person, no matter their job, is important and valuable.
Author Jennifer Beck has written more than 50 books in her 82 years and this latest offering carries on her dominating themes - rural life, family relationships, humour and a happy ending.
My Mum is Queen of the Road is an ode to rural life and our essential workers. Beck deconstructs the stereotypes of a Queen, as does illustrator Lisa Allen. Allen includes a range of Queens in her artwork and plenty of little touches that cement exactly where this book is set.
Beck uses simple sentence structures and an easy formula, empowering little people to read the book on their own after a few read aloud sessions. The book is also available in te reo Māori, and again, it's simple sentence structures will make it a great book for anyone learning the language (and brilliantly, Allen's illustrations have also been translated!)
My Mum is Queen of the Road will continue Beck's trend of delighting New Zealand children around the country. Reviewed by Rebekah Lyell Huia, RRP $22.