The King’s Hats

The King’s Hats
Sheila May Bird and Mark Beech
Zebeck Flame

The royal crown is weighing heavy on the head of Charles 111, the new King, Not only that, but hot and tight too. So he acts on the advice of his wife and heads out to his ‘Happy Place’, there to work out what to do.

In his beloved garden he finds his old friend, Tom, the gardener who wants to know the cause of the king’s pained expression. Having heard the crown is the problem, Tom wisely speaks at length reminding the monarch that in the course of his duties, he will be required to wear all kinds of hats including protective helmets, hard hats,

surgical hats, parade hats of the feathery kind,

paper party hats, a hairnet even. However, as Tom also points out, “sometimes you must wear your crown/And you will smile and wave/ Your crown is very heavy/ But remember…kings are brave”.

Mark Beech captures Charles’ royal nose, ears and facial expressions splendidly in his scribbly, cartoon style illustrations and the final page depicting a statue of Queen Victoria looking extremely displeased on account of the pigeon on her head, is a hoot.
Hats off to both the new king and his gardener who offers not just wise advice but the loan of his sunhat for when Charles is out weeding the path.

Playful pictures combined with a jaunty rhyming text make this book both funny but also with more serious undertones of the monarch’s fears of perhaps not living up to expectations and being brave in his new role.

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