Winter King, Summer Queen

At the moment, for a few hours a week, I’m working as an English native speaking classroom assistant at CEIP El Pi Gros in Sant Cebrià.  This week  I having been telling the story of Winter King, Summer Queen to 5th and 6th primary students. It’s a great story to get students talking about the weather and includes some great characters like Harry Hurricane, Danny Drizzle, Sally Sunshine and includes a Serena, Serena Sky! I found that the students enjoyed the story and the illustrations captured their imaginations.

Here is a review of the book

Two monarchs rule their respective kingdoms in the sky. King Icicle and his friends from the Land of Icy Darkness wreak havoc upon the Earth with their love of all things blustery and cold. Queen Goldenlight and her companions from the Land of the Flaming Sun are friends of the Earth and supply it with light and heat. The two realms are joined one day via a rainbow bridge, and in an …
More atmosphere of cooperation and respect, the rulers agree to work in tandem. The King agrees to care for the Earth for six months of the year (occasionally he “forgets himself and sends out too many of his cold spirits”), and then the Queen takes over. Lister has worked to create a tale of sharing and community in this picture-book debut. The text, however, is rather lackluster and uninspired. At times, the author resorts to telling readers, rather blandly, of her characters’ emotional states, rather than conveying these important points through dialogue or other descriptive means. Much of the characterization comes through in Mayo’s engaging acrylic illustrations. Her depictions of the royals’ companions, Maya Monsoon, Harry Hurricane, Serena Sky, etc., are particularly amusing. This visually appealing pourquoi tale may be a suitable choice for larger libraries wishing to round out their season-themed picture-book collections.-Carol L. MacKay, Camrose Public Library, Alberta, Canada

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