10.12.2014

Queen Victoria's Bathing Machine

This post joins other
kidlit bloggers on the
Nonfiction Monday Roundup
and also joins It's Monday!
What are you reading?

Paula Wiseman Books (Simon & Schuster Books)
(pub. 5.6.2014) 40 pages

A True Tale with 
A Cherry On Top

A uthor: Gloria Whelan
           and Illustrator: Nancy Carpenter
    
C haracter:  Queen Victoria

O verview from the jacket flap: 

    "No one ever said being queen would be easy. But one thing that Queen Victoria never thought about was not being able to swim - ever. It would be so indelicate to have your loyal subjects see your bathing suit and you, Her Royal Highness, in it! What is a queen to do?
     If you are Queen VIctoria with a smart and loving husband like Prince Albert, you have no worries because your husband will make sure you have a bathing machine that is fit for a queen.
     Inspired by royal history, National Book Aware recipient Gloria Whelan tells how a prince, believing that sea bathing was good for his wife's health, helped her to be able to swim as queen. Nancy Carpenter's Pen and watercolor illustrations evoke a loving family and a queen happy at last!"

T antalizing taste: 

"'My dear,' said Prince Albert, 'if it is your wish
to dabble and splatter and swim like a fish,
there must be a way to transport you with ease,
while keeping the populace from glimpsing your knees.
I'll give all my genius and all my attention
to devise a device, to invent an invention.'"

and something more: I enjoyed learning that after the queen's death, the bathing machine was used for a time as a chicken coop. It has now been restored and may be seen by all who visit Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.
     Gloria Whelan's author website includes insights into her writing life and philosophy. I thought this quote was quite wonderful (and I'm certain many children who read Queen Victoria's Bathing Machine do feel she's become a friend): 

"When I’m not writing or walking, I’m cooking or reading, mostly reading. I read a lot and when I put a book down, I feel the author has become my friend. I hope my readers feel the same way about me." 

5 comments:

Ms. Yingling said...

What a fun historical book! Do you think it is good enough to be nominated for the Cybils? Nominations close on Wednesday, and I don't think I've nominated a nonfiction book for EMG.

Kellee Moye (@kelleemoye) said...

Always love how you do your reviews! Some of my favorite format.
Thank you for linking up at IMWAYR; I loved learning about this book.

Happy reading this week! :)

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Thanks Kellee for stopping by! I really appreciate your comment. I of course love stopping by IMWAYR! thanks!

Myra Garces Bacsal said...

I absolutely love Nancy Carpenter's art - haven't heard of this particular title yet, will definitely check it out. Thanks Jeanne!