From eggcups and teapots to bunting and biscuits, it seems as if every industry is getting in on the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. We look at the best royal reads for children this spring...
The Queen's Knickers by Nicholas Allan (Red Fox)
If the Queen came round for tea what knickers would she wear? It's hard to say, but you can bet she has a pair that will suit the occasion. After all, she has ones with flowers on for garden parties and ones with corgis on for relaxing at the palace. This hilarious and irreverent book with delightful pictures takes you on a royal tour of the royal smalls. You'll never look at the Queen's outfit in the same way.
Horrible Histories: 20th Century by Terry Deary (Scholastic)
It's hard to remember that for our children the twentieth century is ancient history. Give them a flavour of the seventies, eighties and nineties (and, you know, the really old stuff that came before that) with this whistle stop tour of the century that made up most of the Queen's reign, from the discovery of fingerprints to the Poll Tax riots.
The Usborne History of Britain: Kings & Queens (Diamond Jubilee edition) illustrated by Ian McNee (Usborne)
Absolutely jam packed with facts and great photographs and illustrations, this will turn any child into a history buff with its easy to understand family trees, glossaries and fact boxes. A real must for a home reference library, it'll help adult brush up on the order of monarchs as well as introduce kids to events such as the Norman invasion and the English Revolution.
Me, the Queen and Christopher by Giles Andreae and Tony Ross (Orchard)
Freya is just an ordinary seven-year-old girl who one day receives a letter inviting her to have tea with the Queen. It's not just any old tea though - Freya gets let in on a few of the Queen's secrets, such as what she likes to eat, what she likes to watch on television and how to make the perfect cup of tea. And to top it all off, she has a surprise in store for Freya's brother too. It's the perfect length for a (long) bedtime story, and great for young readers (five plus) too.
J.Smith by Fougasse (Walker)
In the 1920s the current Queen's grandmother, Queen Mary, was built a stunning dolls' house as a present, with running water, electricity, working lifts and a well stocked library. The dolls' house is on show to visitors at Windsor Castle, and this beautiful cloth bound book is a replica of one of the books in its library - the story of a fairy who is blown out of fairy land by a storm and lands in 1920s London. It's almost too beautiful to touch and children (and adults) will love it as an object as well as for the illustrated story inside.
Peppa Meets the Queen (Ladybird)
It's not just humans who get to meet the Queen. Peppa Pig does too, in this perfectly timed Jubilee special from one of the nation's favourite television characters in this step away from Peppa's normal activities of swimming, riding bikes and going to playgroup.
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ by Sue Townsend (Penguin)
In the days before blogs there were diaries, and Adrian Mole wrote one of the very best, picking his way through his teens with all the elegance of any angsty teenager. As he worries about the Falklands War and lusts after Pandora, 1980s Britain happens around him, including the wedding of Charles and Diana and the birth of Prince William. This is the ideal book to show your children what life was like when mummy and daddy were growing up, and when it was Charles and Diana, not William and Kate, on the front of every newspaper.
The Story of London Sticker Book (Usborne)
Although this is about London rather than specifically about the Queen, it ties in well with the Jubilee as it's facts and stickers include Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, guardsmen, Beefeaters and royal carriages. As stickers books go, this is quite grown up - I'd say it's for kids already at school. As the stickers are mostly beautiful photography rather than brightly coloured shapes or cartoons.
Elizabeth II's Reign by Jacqui Bailey (Franklin Watts)
The ideal buy for anyone nostalgic for old style annuals, this is a look at the last 60 years through the prism of the queen's reign, from the moment she came to the throne until the present day. The history is a little sketchy - it includes events before she came to the throne such as the end of World War 2 and the 1948 London Olympics, but it makes up for this with plenty of pictures and facts such as when the queen first got a mobile phone
George and Flora's Big Party by Jo Elworthy and Ley Honor Roberts (Eden Project Children's Books)
It doesn't mention the royals at all, but there's no mistaking the real reason for George and Flora's June street party on Jubilee Gardens, an attempt to get to know their neighbours. As well as telling the story of their party, it includes loads of great tips on organising such an event, and recipes for ideal street party food from spinach and egg tart to banana cup cakes and my favourite, cheesy owls.
More on Parentdish:
Our favourite childhood reads
Patriotic products to celebrate the Jubi-lympics
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