Meghan Markle's kids' book should have stayed on The Bench – it's try-hard, woke & full of trite words of wisdom

AS the Sun’s Book Columnist and a mum of two, I’ve read many, many picture books over the years and can tell a good one from the very first sentence.

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex was reportedly paid a huge advance for her first picture book, The Bench so I was expecting something deserving of the fan fare. 

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However, it doesn’t live up to expectations and lacks substance. It’s not a story, or a poem – and certainly doesn’t teach you anything. 

The book does what it says on the tin. It features a bench and different children with their parents and trite words of wisdom throughout. 

If you’re going to attempt to use rhyme, at least do it convincingly; 

“He’ll learn to ride a bike, as you watch on with pride.




“He’ll run and he’ll fall. And he’ll take it in stride.”

What does that even mean?

It isn’t particularly well written and the poor grammar meant I had to read several of the lines again (lucky me). I think it shows that Meghan’s perception of herself outweighs natural ability. 

As a parent the books that are great to share with children are the tales that pull you in from the first line. 

There’s usually some action, or adventure, you both might learn something, and every single word counts.



They’re the tales that your child wants to read again and again – and you’re happy to oblige. I can’t imagine any youngster desperate to hear The Bench more than once. 

If this picture book had come through anonymously I don’t think it would have made it off the slush pile. 

It’s too try hard, woke, overly sentimental, and in my opinion should have stayed on the bench. 

We shared how Meghan Markle’s new book The Bench shows her holding Lilibet and Prince Harry feeding chickens with Archie.

Back in March during their Oprah chat, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed they have a chicken coop at their Montecito mansion, located near Santa Barbara, California. 

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