Walker Books, 2019
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
“Celine Beaufort was an ordinary girl. She did ordinary things, on ordinary days, in ordinary ways. But every now and then, Celine was a Queen, Of a kingdom by the sea.” And while it was difficult to pick just one, Celine had found the perfect rock pool with stunning clear water, a host of creatures but all seemingly threatened by a flock of hungry seagulls. So to preserve the perfection, Celine scared the birds away and then proceeded to keep her pool pristine and perfect by building a wall that kept the inhabitants in and the intruders, including the tides, out. But the results were not as she intended… Does she see the error of her actions and fix them, or is she blind to all but her own aspirations?
This beautifully illustrated book has a strong environmental message about maintaining the balance so that things can survive and thrive as dependent on change as they are on stability, as on each other as they are on new blood. But given the political events in the world at the moment, it could also be used with older students as an allegory for exclusivity and inclusivity as well as what leadership really means. Another excellent example of showing that picture books just aren’t for beginning readers!