Perfect Picture Book Friday: Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas

Happy Friday, everyone! It’s time for a Perfect Picture Book review and craft activity. Susanna Hill’s blog is the place to go to find a whole bunch of other picture book reviews.

Last week I promised you that I would be reviewing lots of non-fiction picture books this year…this one is just lovely.

elizabeth queen of the seas

Elizabeth, The Queen of the Seas

Written by Lynne Cox

Illustrated by Brian Floca

Publisher: Schwartz-Wade Books (2014)

Ages: 4-8


Pursuing your dream, friendship, elephant seals


Opening Lines:

“There was once a lovely elephant seal who lived in the city. Most elephant seals live in the ocean, in salt water. They sleep on rocky coasts and lie along sandy beaches. But this seal was different. She swam in the sweet, shallow waters of the Avon River where it flowed through the heart of the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.


From Amazon:

The incredible story of Elizabeth, a real-life elephant seal who made her home in the Avon River in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. When Elizabeth decides to stretch out across a two-lane road, the citizens worry she might get hurt or cause traffic accidents, so a group of volunteers tows her out to sea. But Elizabeth swims all the way back to Christchurch. The volunteers catch her again and again—each time towing her farther, even hundreds of miles away—but, still, Elizabeth finds her way back home.”


Why I like this book:

  • Amazing true story about loyalty and love
  • Text is lyrical and enjoyable
  • Sweet engaging illustrations


How a parent can use this book:

  • Talk about how people can help animals (care for our pets, preserve habitats that animals need) – and animals can help people (rescue dogs, service animals, etc.)



Related Activity:

Bean Bag Animal

300x200xAnimalBeanBags_mainpic.jpg.pagespeed.ic.RRck7aSeFsa9bbNxA4ckPhoto courtesy:

For materials and step by step instructions, please go to:

Kids love crafting. If you make the bean bag, you can play a bean bag toss game. Set up a clean empty wastebasket and see how far away you can stand and still get the bean bag in the basket.


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10 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday: Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas

  1. I’ll have to find this one. Love that it’s based on a true story and the tenacity of both the seal and the villagers intrigues me. Thanks for sharing it. I’m looking forward to your non-fiction books this year.


  2. I’m going to review more non fiction too, Vivian and mine this week was an early one for President’s day. I Love how you have a craft go with your selection and a game as well. Never veering from your first love of your first book show me how. And how it how develops self esteem. Thanks for being so dependable.


  3. I just read this book this week – and decided to write notes about it because it is such a wonderful book! I love the way Cox has structured the story, and the repetition of taking Elizabeth away (and her returning to her home). I especially love that it’s a true story.


  4. I know the story of Elizabeth, the real elephant seal, Vivian! The Kansas educational channel carried it last winter, and I watched it with my grandchildren. It’s quite a tale, and at the end they posted a website where we could print out coloring pictures of Elizabeth’s adventures, so of course we did!
    My granddaughter was especially involved, as her middle name is Elizabeth!


  5. Finally read this book, and so glad that I did! The language is beautiful to read, and it’s a very informative and captivating story. Thanks for featuring it, Vivian.


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