The Bench Reviews: Meghan, Sussex’s first children’s book, The Bench, brilliantly describes the particular bond between father and son as seen through a mother’s eyes. The book’s storytelling and art provide us glimpses of shared memories evoking a strong Reviews feeling of warmth, connection, and compassion.
In The Bench, Meghan, Sussex’s Duchess, touchingly portrays the changing and deepening bond between father and son and reminds us of the numerous ways love may take form in a contemporary household.
The Duchess’ inaugural children’s book, evoking a profound feeling of warmth, connection, and compassion, provides us a glimpse into shared and everlasting moments between a varied group of dads and sons-moments of serenity and meditation, trust and belief, discovery and learning, and comfort and nurturing.
Caldecott-winning, bestselling artist Christian Robinson enhances his unique style to bring pleasure and gentleness to the pages, showing the beauty of a father’s love through the eyes of a mother.
This heart-warming read-aloud is meant to be cherished by families for centuries to come with a universal message.
For Meghan Markle, the birth of her daughter, Lilibet Diana, her second child with Prince Harry, and now the long-anticipated publishing of her first children’s book.
Random House Children’s Books released The Bench on June 8, 2021.
The narrative is inspired by a poem written for Prince Harry on his first Father’s Day, about a month after Archie’s kid was born. Exploring the tie between father and son from the viewpoint of a mother, the book comments on the numerous ways that love is conveyed in a contemporary family and how their connection changes as the kid grow up. And it’s all about the Bench they share.
Although this is Meghan’s first children’s book, it’s not her first publication. Following the 2018 Grenfell Tower catastrophe, she joined Together: Our Community Cookbook, a charity cookbook that helps fire-affected families. As well as supporting The Hubb Community Kitchen and celebrating the women who put it up, she penned the introduction to the recipe book as part of her first solo effort since entering the royal family, raising over £500,000 for charity.
The Bench is the latest in many new projects involving the Sussexes since moving to America, leaving royal responsibilities in 2020. But it’s not wholly surprising, with other royal family members also attempting to write throughout the years.
With soothing lyrics and delicate aquarelles about the love father-son relation, all founded in that essential piece of furniture found in every house and park, it’s a symbolic elaboration on the guided tour of the royal-non-royal pair around the chicken coop with Oprah. The fact we’re a family, we’re just like everyone else. But this time, illustratively, it doesn’t feel so polarised.
The book does seem timely: although many recent pre-school books concentrate on the critical education surrounding black history and feminist themes, we’re at a crucial moment in properly educating males. This isn’t just a novel from a (typically white) boy’s point of view, as most were when I grew up. In presenting tales of strong emotional male connection, Meghan models emotional openness to young boys and girls and their dads.
As I leafed through the book with my husband and two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, I asked her what she enjoyed about the book. She told me she appreciated a tale of father and son who loved one other and imagined Prince Harry was her daddy. It’s vital to young readers of all backgrounds placing themselves in the tale.