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Review: The Pilot and the Little Prince-France with children

Review: The Pilot and the Little Prince-France with children

 “Long ago in France, at the turn of the last century, a little boy was born to be an adventurer.”  Isn’t that what travel is about?  Adventure? Meeting new people, seeing new places, discovering new things-whatever inspires you to travel, The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry will inspire you to explore more. The story includes a biography of Saint-Exupery against a backdrop of the impact of the beginnings of aviation and the unfolding of the chaos of two world wars.  The author manages to weave the disparate themes together with wonderful illustrations and a passion for exploration and travel as Saint-Exupéry flies routes through France, Spain, Morocco, Western Sahara, Senegal, and South America. This is a beautifully illustrated book that captures the spirit and beauty of early flight, as well as a boy’s passions.  The limited text running along the bottom can be a little disjointed, but the illustrations and additional details on the history of flight provide a treasure trove of additional information and are very evocative of the Little Prince.  While the ending is sad, it doesn’t dwell on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s death, but is truly a celebration of his life and the joy of...

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Review: Queen Victoria’s Bathing Machine-Isle of Wight

Review: Queen Victoria’s Bathing Machine-Isle of Wight

Aren’t Queen’s allowed to do what ever they want? Shouldn’t a queen have the right to swim wherever and whenever she likes? But in  “Queen Victoria’s Bathing Machine,” by Gloria Whelan, with illustrations by Nancy Carpenter, even Queens have rules they must follow.  “Queen Victoria looked out at the sea.  It was blue, it was cool, it was nice as could be. The day was so hot; the sun was so bright.  Her petticoats itched and her corset was tight.  She whispered a wish, it was only a whim.  ‘How grand it would be to go for a swim.'”  I’m sure most children can relate to the feeling of wanting to abandon restrictions and play in the water, at least mine do!  Any opportunity to get wet, whether in the ocean, a fountain, a sprinkler, or water balloon fights are actively pursued during the summer.  They’re certainly familiar with “drippy, and slushy and soggy and sodden” clothes! Fortunately, Prince Albert steps in to help solve the problem and with the assistance of their children (who are up to no good on pretty much every page of the story) and builds a bathing machine that allows the Queen to preserve her dignity and go for a swim! This charmingly rhyming book is based on a true story and the actual bathing machine Prince Albert constructed can still be seen on the Isle of Wight at Osborne House.  From Roman Villas to Victorian castles, as well of course as beautiful beaches, there’s lots for families do see and do on the Isle of Wight. Interested in adding Queen Victoria’s Bathing Machine to your child’s collection?  Click here: Queen Victoria’s Bathing...

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