In 1942 Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, living in exile after theNazi invasion of her country, spent the summer in Lee, Massachusetts,with her daughter and granddaughters. The following is based on a truestory….
It’s summertime in New England during World War II, and a boy namedWilliam likes to imagine at bedtime that he is a brave knight fightinggreat battles to end the war. But in the morning he is always justWilliam again, not big enough to contribute to the war effort like therest of his family.
Then a real queen moves in just down the road: Queen Wilhelmina of theNetherlands. William’s parents explain that the queen has been forced out of her country because of the war. Now William has his chance to do something. It may not be “war work” — it’s more like peace work — but that makes all the difference.
Susan Jeffers’s dramatic illustrations portray the compelling contrastbetween William’simagination and the real events in the story, which are based on anactual incident in John Paterson’s childhood. Visually stunning, with anevocative, poignant telling, this is the picture-book art form at itsfinest.