Tuesday, 30 July 2013
Review: Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace by A. A. Milne and E. H. Shepard
Released: July 1st, 2013
They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace - Christopher Robin went down with Alice. Alice is marrying one of the guard. "A soldier's life is terrible hard," Says Alice. The poems that make up this collection are steeped in the history and culture of the British Isles - and generations of British children have grown up with them. Now collected together in a beautiful gift edition, this is the perfect memento of a trip to Britain- or a wonderful gift for christening or special birthday.
Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace is a selection of poems written by A.A. Milne and illustrated by E.H. Shepard. The poems are all very British and tell of life in Edwardian Britain when things really did seem simpler. The back of the book says that generations of British children have grown up with these poems, but I can honestly say I'm not familiar with any of them! I've never been a big fan of poetry though, so that could be why these have all passed me by.
I read all thirty-six poems in this book and found that maybe I *do* like poetry after all. Or at least more than I initially thought. Some stand-out favourites are 'Happiness', 'The End', 'Daffodowndilly', 'Spring Morning', 'Furry Bear' and 'The Morning Walk'. I like poetry that rhymes and, for the most part, these all do!
I've also never been a fan of Winnie-the-Pooh, which I feel I should really admit to here. It was never among my staple book diet when I was younger, instead I preferred The Famous Five and later Goosebumps. However, I enjoyed the poems in this collection that focused on Pooh and Christopher Robin, and I especially liked E.H. Shepard's accompanying illustrations. There's an understated quality about them that goes with their nostalgic feel, even though they look quite simple at a first glance. I've never paid much attention to Shepard's work in the past but I'm going to actively seek out more.
As far as books go, this one is high up there in terms of presentation. It's a nice hardback with a removable dust jacket, and is certainly one that would make a thoughtful gift for children new to the text or adults who enjoyed it when they were younger. I'm glad I gave it a go and introduced myself to a format I otherwise wouldn't have read - perhaps poetry isn't as bad as I thought!