Thus begins Mrs. Armitage's excellent road adventure. Accompanied by her faithful dog, Breakspear, Mrs. Armitage wraps a long scarf around her neck, gamely sits down behind the wheel of her newly acquired vehicle, and takes off.
There are many surprises along the way—potholes, fender benders, a few sideswipes, and other "minor" accidents—until all that is left is Mrs. Armitage, Breakspear, and the bare frame of the car. But the ever-resourceful Mrs. Armitage remains undaunted. And when she finally meets up with her uncle and his motorcycle cronies, Mrs. Armitage is rightfully honored as the Queen of the Road.
From the best-selling author-illustrator Quentin Blake, Children's Laureate of the United Kingdom and winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal, comes this charming story of a indomitable and appealingly off-beat woman who finds liberation and new friends out on the open road.
My thoughts: Quirky! Absolutely bizarre and quirky. Quentin Blake has taken his ink pen and water colors and given us in image and text a cute, quirky little lady who is gifted a car. Well, more a rattletrap vehicle of the 4-wheel version. Once given to her, Mrs. Armitage and devoted dog, Breakspear, hop on board and roll down the road.
Each "bump in the road" shakes off a piece of the car as she rolls along. What does she do? Despair? No. She simply throws the troublesome piece away and keeps rolling along. (What can we learn from life with this tidbit?) In one scene (two-page spread of delightful imagery), she is rolling along and still has the sides of the car intact. Here is the story line on that page....
"Breakspear," said Mrs. Armitage, "I think it is time for us to get out of this town." They went down a side road into the country. All around then were trees, and the birds were singing."
"Breakspear," said Mrs. Armitage, "this is blissful."This is a fun book and will be an opportunity for teaching "making do" with what you're given and also acceptance of the "bumps in the road of life." The book is, I am sure, fully intended to be an entertainment and light-hearted little read for the young and young-in-heart, yet sometimes it is good to also read between the lines, so to speak.
GIVEAWAY: Peachtree Publishing has graciously saved a copy of Mrs. Armitage Queen of the Road for one of Chat With Vera's readers to win. Just use the entry form below and let's see who might get a copy for some special child. Begins June 7 & ENDS June 30 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT.
Author/Illustrator: Quentin Blake has earned an international reputation for his quirky, humorous drawings. The best-selling illustrator and author-illustrator of more than one hundred books and the recipient of numerous awards. In 1999, Blake was named the first Children's Laureate of the United Kingdom. Famous for his illustrations of Roald Dahl's beloved books, Blake has three books with Peachtree Publishers: Santa's Last Present, Loveykins, and Mrs. Armitage, Queen of the Road. He lives and works in England and France.You can visit Quentin Blake’s website here.
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DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by Peachtree Publishing in exchange for my review. Opinions expressed are my own. No compensation was received for this review. Giveaway copy is provided by Peachtree.