Saturday 7 April 2012

Children's book review : Elizabeth II's reign : Celebrating 60 Years of Britain's History - Jacqui Bailey

When I was at secondary school, I still remember my history teacher, Mr Kenway - who had also been my dad's teacher - chatting to him at a parent-teacher evening and saying how it made him feel really old to see things from his lifetime in the history books he was using to teach. I quietly sniggered at the time, thinking how ancient he must be, but now it's happening to me - agggggh !!

With this year's Diamond Jubilee filling the news online and on TV, Sophie has been taking a real interest in the history of the Royal Family, especially since watching Kate & Wills tying the knot last year, so when the opportunity came up to review this book, called Celebrating 60 Years of Britain's History : Elizabeth II's Reign, I knew that it was the perfect book to answer all her questions.

As well as giving a brief outline of the Royal Family and key moments that have marked their history, such as Diana's death, the Queen's coronation and the Royal Weddings, it looks back at life in Britain for the average person over the past 60 years and Sophie loved discovering "old-fashioned" things from my childhood like records and rotating dial phones ! As well as looking at social history and the changing attitudes, fashions, food and consumer products experienced by Brits over the years, it looks at the bigger picture, explaining the impact of the war, women's rights, the National Health System ... things that modern kids just take for granted and can't even imagine ever living without.

It's packed with interesting titbits of information and photos that are just as interesting for a child, reading it and discovering things from the past that they've never seen before, as a grown-up, taking a trip down memory lane and recognising things from their youth. It gives a good overview of the last sixty years and I think I'll actually use this at school to add background information to our project about the Diamond Jubilee.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £13.99

  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Franklin Watts (12 Jan 2012)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 1445107023
  • ISBN-13: 978-1445107028
  • Product Dimensions: 29 x 21.8 x 1 cm

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  1. This sounds really interesting. I know what you mean though about seeing things in history books from my lifetime, I still can't believe how quickly the years go!

  2. I remember being a small child for the silver Jubilee and at school we were given a Silver Jubilee pencil tin and think I have still got it. My Father remembered the coronation and saw it for real he told me it rained and he climbed up a tree to get a good view!


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