Reviewed by Carmela Ramos Meet Carmela
In ‘Queen Alice’s Palaces, Juliette MacIver demonstrates an imaginative creativity with her unique writing style. MacIver skilfully uses rhyme to weave a tale of the challenges Queen Alice and Sir Hugh face as each extraordinary palace is built.
MacIver uses a four-line stanza with every line rhyming except the fourth line. The ending of the fourth line in each stanza is identical so there is a constant ‘oo’ sound pattern throughout the read.
Lucia Masciullo’s visual portrayal of the different palaces and humorous characters, using magnificent colour and lines, brings the story alive. I’m definitely a fan of the illustrator’s work!
Sadly, my children (aged 4, 8 and 12) didn’t love the book as they didn’t appreciate the poetry style. However, with my school teacher cap firmly in place, I would recommend this lovely book for classroom use. Its uniqueness and clever use of rhythmical words is a great example to students of creative poetry. This book is well suited for primary school children.
THANK YOU to our most regal friends at HarperCollins Publishers Australia for our review copy.
On Sale in Australia: May 2013
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I have always enjoyed writing, since I was a child, but I never aspired to the idea of Being A Writer, as such. I did always hope to write a children’s book or two at some stage, and when I finally did, I found it to be such marvellous fun that I decided being a writer was actually a splendid idea.
I grew up in Wellington and went to Victoria University, where I completed a degree in linguistics, then a diploma in teaching English. I taught English on and off, working in-between as a cycle courier; in cafes; ushering at festivals; as a guide at the national museum; and as a travel agent (at which I was particularly hopeless). I also travelled around Thailand and Europe by myself. Finally, after a short spell in a government department, I left to become a fulltime mother of four children (who arrived in an orderly sequence, not all at once). This wonderful job has involved a vast amount of “market research” for my eventual evolution into a children’s author. Writing fits in (with a squeeze) around caring for my children, and I LOVE it to excess, so it is rather a perfect job for me.