CM . . .
. Volume VIII Number 9 . . . . January 4, 2002
Growing Up Royal is a refreshing change from most adult royal biographies, which are often tediously correct or suspiciously censorious. Instead, Saskatoon author Jane Billinghurst immediately engages her readers by putting them in the situation of the royal offspring. For example:
Using this personal and humorous approach, the author is able to introduce plenty of information about royal families (especially in Britain, but with brief comparisons to other European royalty) and still keep the reader feeling personally involved. She also includes plenty of anectdotes showing the lighter and more human side of growing up royal, such as kick-the-can games in the corridors of Buckingham Palace or tobogganing down staircases on tea trays in the Spencer family mansion.
Sidebars contain a considerable amount of useful information on everything from royal residences to correct titles for palace servants. There are also two eight pages sections of colour photos plus an appendix giving the names and situation of members of ten European royal families.
Suitable for grades four and up, this book could well be popular with older students, especially as it contains extra information on popular Prince William, the latest royal heart-throb. Subtitled. Life in the Shadow of the British Throne, this is a lively and entertaining account of what it is like to be born royal.
Helen Norrie, a former teacher-librarian is the children's book reviewer for the Winnipeg Free Press and an instructor in Children's Literature at the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba..
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