NEW YORK – The first children's book by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, is a multicultural tribute to fatherhood.
“The Bench,” a picture story published Tuesday by Random House Children's Books, celebrates the bond between Meghan's husband Prince Harry and son Archie and fathers and sons in general. Markle's rhyming narrative is complemented by illustrator Christian Robinson's watercolor images, showing families of different skin colors and backgrounds, from a light-skinned soldier returning home (Harry served in Afghanistan) to a dark-skinned man in dreadlocks, from a boy carrying a soccer trophy to a boy and his father wearing pink tutus.
Fathers are seen as buddies, teachers, consolers and cheerleaders. Random House calls the book a portrait of “the special relationship between fathers and sons, through a mother's eyes.” The image of the bench serves as a symbol of stability and comfort, starting with a drawing of Harry holding his baby son on a bench, two dogs nearby.
Markle's opening stanza:
"This is your bench
Where life will begin
For you and our son
Our baby, our kin"