Thursday 4 April 2013

Picture Book Review : The Childe of Hale - Rachel Lyon

You may have seen our review of Tabitha Posy Was Ever So Nosy, which Maverick Books kindly sent us through to review. The second book that we received was The Cautionary Tale of the Childe of Hale by Rachel Lyon.

This is another book written in rhyme that has a strong life-lesson for little readers (or listeners) to ponder. The illustrations by Vanina Starkoff have a real vintage feel to them that reminded me of some of the books I enjoyed in my childhood. The story seems totally timeless and almost fairytalesque. 

The Childe of Hale isn't in fact a child, he is a giant, which slightly confused Pierre and Juliette the first time we read it. He lives in a house that is too small for him to stand up in and can never find trousers long enough for his legs. When he is whisked away to a life of luxury living with the king and queen, things seem to have taken a turn for the better. But he soon discovers that their friendship is shallow and they are just out to use him. He does discover true friendship and loyalty in the princess but ultimately realises that he would have been better off sticking with his simple life with simple people who truly cared about him. It's a great way of showing children what the really important things in life are, as well as illustrating the saying "if it looks too good to be true, it probably is".

As you can see from the picture, even the dog sat down to listen to the story and look at the pictures !

The flap on the inside of the front cover reveals that the story is inspired by the adventures of a real-life giant, John Middleton, born near Liverpool in the sixteenth century and nicknamed The Childe of Hale by the locals. According to his epitaph, he was 9 feet 3 inches tall and he was said to be so tall that he had to sleep with his feet hanging out of the window of his small cottage! The Childe's thatched cottage and gravestone can still be seen in Hale village. I love the fact that the book is inspired by a traditional folktale.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £6.99

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Maverick (31 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848860951
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848860957
  • Product Dimensions: 26 x 25.4 x 0.8 cm

Disclosure : We received a copy of the book in order to write an honest review.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Picture book review : Tabitha Posy Was Ever So Nosy - Julie Fulton

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