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The Corgi and the Queen

Authored by Caroline L. Perry
Illustrated by Lydia Corry
Published by Andersen Press

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The Corgi and the Queen: This book traces the life of the late Queen Elizabeth II* through her relationship with corgis and specifically her first dog Susan, who was presented to the young Princess Elizabeth’s on her 18th birthday.

The story is illustrated throughout with Lydia Corry’s pictures, which bring a mid-twentieth century quality to the text. Every biography is going to be selective and, in The Corgi and the Queen, the emphasis is on the security that the normality of the relationship between the young princess and her pet corgi provided in a life that was far from ordinary. The book doesn’t shy away from moments of sadness in the life of Elizabeth, including the death of her father and the inevitable loss of Susan. However, its focus is on the work of the late queen in trying to bring people together – even if this does create something of a warts-free representation of the monarchy in the second half of the twentieth century. The book could provide, at the beginning of a new king’s reign, a useful point from which to start a conversation with children about the role of the British monarch, and how the crown passes down the generations. 

The text is presented in short bursts with a maximum of six sentences to each section, with each sentence starting on a new line. This book would work as a read aloud for KS1 children or lower KS2 and the vocabulary choices means that it would provide a good read for children who enjoy exploring new language (including words such as ‘rambunctious’ and ‘shrill’).  

*it should be noted that although published in spring 2023, this text was written prior to the queen’s death in September 2022.