Winston Windsor and the Diamond Jubilee by Melissa Wareham
|Winston Windsor and the Diamond Jubilee by Melissa Wareham|
|Genre: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: It might be set around the Queen's Diamond Jubilee but it's a timeless adventure story which you can't put down. Recommended. Melissa popped into Bookbag Towers to tell us about how she became an accidental author.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 60||Date: May 2012|
|Publisher: Melissa Wareham|
The Queen has quite a few corgis (and one dorgi) but her best-loved dog is Winston Windsor. Winston Windsor is devoted to the Queen, obviously, but his heart has been stolen by Wilma the poodle who is owned by the man who supplies fruit and vegetables to the Palace. When the Queen decides to change supplier (please step up the organic farmer based at Highgrove...) Winston realises that he will never see Wilma again. An unwise escape from the Palace in pursuit of his lady love leaves him in the dog pound with Flossy the Rottweiler (a difficult name for a boy, don't you think, particularly when you've been beaten up by a Chihuahua?) and Harry. When the dogs unearth a plot to kidnap the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee day they know that they have to get back to the Palace and warn the Queen - but how?
Melissa Wareham knows her dogs. Here at Bookbag we first met her when we reviewed Take Me Home: Tales of Battersea Dogs, a non-fiction book which is perfectly pitched at the seven-plus age group. She's pitch-perfect with her latest book too, but this time it's an adventure story which taps into the Queen's acknowledged love of dogs and the celebrations for her diamond jubilee. When the Queen's co-opted into a story there's a tendency for the author to be overly sycophantic or overly familiar. Melissa Wareham does another balancing act here too. She portrays the Queen affectionately (the Duke of Edinburgh calls her 'Cabbage') and brings out a human side which royal pageantry and protocol sometimes obscures.
So, we've got some brilliant characters and an event which everyone has heard about. I guess that you'll be wanting to know about the plot? It's exciting (we'll not mention what happened when Winston over-indulged in party food..), pacy (apart from the fact that Winston has very short legs and can't run very fast) and there's a real feeling of tension about how everything will work out. There's nothing to give a child nightmares - but the Duke of Edinburgh might think differently as he very nearly ends up with the wrong wife. It's a thriller in the true sense of the word and great fun too.
You might be wondering if the book will be past its sell-by date after the Diamond Jubilee - well, I don't think it will. A good tale is a good tale whenever you read it and the fact that it's set around a particular event doesn't alter that. With the line drawings by Charles Wapham this book puts me in mind of One Dog And His Boy by Eva Ibbotson and Sharon Rentta and no one would ever suggest that book could date!
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