Kings and queens, princes and princesses are some of the best known and most colourful characters in children’s books. To celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, we’ve gathered together our favourite stories about royalty – some well known and some less well known.
Using topical events is a great way to get children interested in related books and literacy activities, and this month Words for Life has lots of royalty themed activities that you can do with your children at www.wordsforlife.org.uk/kings-and-queens. So why not grab five minutes in amongst the Jubilee concerts, processions, pageants and street parties and enjoy these fantastic reads and activities.
Top 10 books about Kings and Queen
0-3 years old
Little Princess – I want my potty!
The classic Little Princess tale about the perils of potty training! “Nappies are YUUECH!” said the Little Princess. “There MUST be something better!” At first the Little Princess thinks the royal potty is even worse than nappies but she soon learns to love it — even if it isn’t always there just when she needs it!
The Queen’s Knickers
It’s a busy year for the Queen – she has lots of important events to attend. Meanwhile, a little girl is wondering what knickers Her Majesty will choose to wear on a school visit! Will they be her ‘at home’ knickers – adorned with corgis – or her ‘garden party’ knickers, or perhaps her woolly Balmoral ones…?
The Princess and the Wizard
Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks
“The princess may try seven times to escape By changing her colour and changing her shape.” But each time Princess Eliza changes – into a blue fish, a yellow chick or a black cat – the wicked wizard finds her and sets her another horrible task. Can she outwit him and escape back to the palace in time to cut her birthday cake?
Katie and the Spanish Princess
Katie would like to dress up as a princess for her birthday, but Grandma can’t seem to get her costume quite right. Perhaps a trip to the art gallery will provide some inspiration… Join Katie on her adventure inside five famous paintings as she gets to be a real princess for a day!
The Barefoot Book of Princesses
Meet seven very strong and special princesses in this collection drawn from sources from around the world. Each faces challenges and trials, and each finds a way to triumph with bravery, compassion, ingenuity and a little bit of luck.
The Prince’s Bedtime
Meet a young prince who refuses to go to sleep! The entire kingdom comes out to lend a hand in this rhyming bedtime adventure. There is a hullabaloo of activity – jugglers juggling, magicians hypnotising, dancers dancing – but it is the wonder of a good story that finally does the trick.
Cruel Kings and Mean Queens
Part of the Horrible Histories collection, this is history with the nasty bits left in! Want to know which king died after falling off the toilet or why Queen Anne’s feet were covered in garlic? This grippingly gruesome guide lets you into the secrets of our mad, menacing and murderous monarchs and the terrible times in which they ruled.
The Little Prince
Antoine Saint Exupery
The Little Prince is a book for children written for grown-ups. It tells of a lonely little prince who falls to earth from Asteroid B-612. He’s in need of a friend, and so he sets off on a journey across the planets to see who he can find. It can be enjoyed on many different levels and give and food for thought for readers of all ages.
In the fourth book in the Chronicles of Narnia. Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are mysteriously transported back to Narnia where they meet Prince Caspian and discover that it has been hundred’s of years since their reign as Kings andQueensof the land ended. Cair Paravel, the castle where they lived, is in ruins and the evil King Miraz has taken charge.
King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table
Roger Lancelyn Green
A legend is born when young Arthur meets Merlin and draws the mighty sword from its stone. This spellbinding retelling brings to life King Arthur and the adventures of his Knights, from the quest for the Holy Grail to the final tragedy of the Last Battle.
The books are listed at www.wordsforlife.org.uk/kings-and-queens and are all available from Amazon.
About Words for Life
Words for Life is a campaign from the National Literacy Trust which gets parents involved with their children’s communication and literacy development and gives them confidence to feel they can make a positive difference. It is aimed at parents of children aged from birth to eleven. www.wordsforlife.org.uk
About the National Literacy Trust
The National Literacy Trust is an independent charity that transforms lives through literacy. We believe that society will only be fair when everyone has the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills they need to communicate, to fulfil their potential and to contribute more to society. We campaign to improve public understanding of the vital importance of literacy and communication, as well as delivering projects and working in partnership to reach those most in need of support.
To help us transform lives through literacy, you can make a donation or support our work. To find out how visit http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/support