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Queenly trinkets for her hair?
A royal pair of underwear?
Poor Prince Pierre and Princess Emma face a major muddlesome dilemma. What do you give your mother the Queen when she has absolutely everything?
I like the cover of this book - and so did the twins. They immediately identified with the children on the cover, pointing to each in turn and saying which was which. Teina, the younger of the two girls, announced that she was Emma while Tuakana assured us that she was Pierre. The fact that Pierre was the brother did not faze her in the slightest: at their age, the difference between girls and boys is not in the equation. They are equally happy playing with their traditional "boys' toys" as they are with their dolls' house and dress-up shoes. It is the adults that have the problem, never the kids!
We spent some time on the cover as they were also taken with the parrot and the rodent. They were unsure as to whether it was a mouse or a rat; in the end they agreed it was a rat. At least one of these creatures appears on every page along with the children, and sometimes there are two parrots and two rats, so it was decided by Tuakana that they must be the children's pets. They have a cat so they know all about pets and that strengthened their identification with Emma and Pierre.
I love the message that the book conveys - that it is always best to give a present that you have made yourself at little or no cost rather than something flashy and expensive that the recipient may or may not need or even want. Every parent knows the value of those first drawings or craft attempts that little fingers have worked on with love - and it never matters how imperfect they are, they are received with delight. The girls love working with colours and their creations adorn the fridge door, pictures of crooked suns and stick figures which have been displayed with parental pride!
This book has now inspired them to do some pebble painting so their artwork can adorn the garden as well. Teina decided that if her mother was a queen then her father might be a king (when it came to grownups, the gender distinction was clear) so he deserved some decorated stones for his own garden. When they left me to return home, their parents had strict instructions to stop at a stone paint shop on the way to get the materials they would need. They also plan to take their creations to show the other children at their play group!
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