|Queen Munch and Queen Nibble by Carol Ann Duffy and Lydia Monks|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: Silly and colourful and deliciously delightful to read!|
|Buy? yes||Borrow? yes|
|Pages: 64||Date: October 2016|
|Publisher: Two Hoots|
|External links: Author's website|
Queen Munch and Queen Nibble are two very different queens, in two very different kingdoms. Queen Munch, as you might imagine from her name, really loves her food. Her Saturdays begin with 'The Munching of the Breakfast' which is a grand extravaganza that her people all come and watch involving a grand setting, the Royal Musicians playing the 'Queen Munch Tune', dancing, an important reader of the menu, a delicious breakfast all finished off with a nice belch from the Queen! Queen Nibble, then, is much the opposite of Queen Munch. She is tall and as pale as a stick of celery! She lives alone, barely eats, but she makes beautiful jewellry from raindrops. One day, Queen Munch invites Queen Nibble over for a visit, and what will happen when these two extremely different rulers come together?
This is a beautifully written story, very sumptuous and certainly one to make your tummy rumble! As you'd expect, from the marvellous Carol Ann Duffy, the descriptions are excellent. I particularly like her description of Queen Munch's hair which she wore in two plump pigtails like strings of Best Sausages! I also really like the passage about Queen Nibble, who is wondering what Queen Munch will be like when she meets her: I hope she likes the rain, thought Queen Nibble. I hope she likes to sit peacefully like a cat at a window. I hope she likes to watch the mist wind round the forest like a ribbon.
The story itself sees the two Queens meeting and, obviously, being very different from each other. Yet they find pleasure in each other's differences, and as in all good stories, they become firm friends! Queen Munch learns to make raindrop jewellery (though it isn't quite as lovely as Queen Nibble's!) and Queen Nibble learns to enjoy food (though not quite as much as Queen Munch!) It ends with the feeling that you'd like to know more about these two Queens and their adventures.
The story is bright and colourful throughout, both in words and pictures. The illustrations are beautifully drawn, and they compliment the text very well. I liked the contrasting portrayals of the two queens, and the differences between the pale and cold Queen Nibble, and then the bright, sumptuous colours for Queen Munch. The pictures help younger readers follow the story, and there are small details that are nice to look out for, such as a teeny tiny donkey tied up outside one of the houses in the kingdom, or the startled owl sitting on Queen Nibble's washing line.
I took off half a star only because I felt that the story would have benefited from having chapters. It is much longer than the usual picture book, which is good as I love a good picture book and so it's nice to get extra reading time! However, it makes it a little too long to read all in one go for bedtime, and for emerging readers it feels like too much of a struggle to get all the way through and it isn't obvious where you could stop and start the story. This is merely a nitpicky editorial point however and don't let it put you off reading as everything else about the book is brilliant. I love the vocabulary and imagery, and it is just a very silly, fun story. You might want a biscuit handy for when you finish though, as it does tend to make you feel peckish!
Further reading suggestion: For more culinary royal delights you might also enjoy The Jelly That Wouldn't Wobble by Angela Mitchell and Sarah Horne and for more delightful Duffy you should definitely take a look at New and Collected Poems for Children by Carol Ann Duffy.
You can read more book reviews or buy Queen Munch and Queen Nibble by Carol Ann Duffy and Lydia Monks at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Queen Munch and Queen Nibble by Carol Ann Duffy and Lydia Monks at Amazon.com.
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