MEGHAN Markle has boasted she has revealed “another side of masculinity” with her children’s book The Bench.
The new release this week topped the New York Times Bestsellers list for kid’s picture books – but failed to break into the Top 50 for UK sales.
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Meghan Markle has said she has revealed ‘another side of masculinity’ with her children’s book The BenchCredit: AFP
It was released on June 8Credit: Getty
The Duchess of Sussex describes her first work as a published author as “a love letter to my husband and son”.
It is said to be inspired by a poem she wrote about Prince Harry’s first Father’s Day which “captures moments of love and shared experiences between a diverse group of fathers and sons”.
On her Archewell website, Meghan said of the book’s success: “While this poem began as a love letter to my husband and son, I’m encouraged to see that its universal themes of love, representation and inclusivity are resonating with communities everywhere.
“In many ways, pursuing a more compassionate and equitable world begins with these core values.
“Equally, to depict another side of masculinity — one grounded in connection, emotion, and softness — is to model a world that so many would like to see for their sons and daughters alike.
“Thank you for supporting me in this special project.”
It topped the New York Times Bestseller list for children’s picture booksCredit: New York Times
Meghan said the book started as a Father’s Day poem for Prince HarryCredit: Archewell
The Bench was released on June 8 in the UK, Ireland, US, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa.
And it is already appearing on reduced shelves and in bargain bins in book shops across the country.
But Tom Tivan, managing editor of The Bookseller, said despite the Duchess’ book failing to crack the top 50, it’s not totally disappointing as picture books tend to sell at a slow and steady pace.
He said: “The aim is the long game as picture books tend to have a longer shelf life than adult titles.
“The idea is to keep them selling week in and week out and is not about a quick hit.
“Meghan’s was the bestselling picture book of the week though as it sold 500 more copies than Julia Donaldson’s What the Ladybird Heard at the Seaside.”
Meghan was beaten by none other than Marcus Rashford with his book You Are A Champion, which sold 10,564 copies in the past week.
The Bench is already being reduced in shops in the UKCredit: Rex
Meghan describes herself as a ‘mother, wife, feminist and activist’Credit: Rex
Tom thinks The Bench’s rocky start could actually be a strategic move by the publisher, to play the “long game”.
He thinks it could see Meghan and Harry sign a multi-book deal for an eye-watering amount – much like the Obamas.
And it is expected to be huge hit for the book’s UK publishers Penguin Random House Children’s, as they have the rights that allow them to sell the English language copy globally.
They could also sell translation rights to other publishers, which means that the book could become a global success if it published in other languages.
The children’s book has divided opinions amongst readers online, with The Telegraph’s Claire Allfree labelling it a “semi-literate vanity project”.
One reviewer wrote: “There isn’t a lot of positives to be found.
“It’s not engaging and cannot justify its classification as a children’s book. It’s a sentimental with a somewhat sanctimonious overtone.”
But a more supportive reader commented: “The poem throughout is lovely.
“Don’t really understand the negative reviews, it’s a beautiful book and clearly meant more for a father or parent to read and give them a smile.
“My children loved looking at the pictures and pointing out ‘daddy’, but it made my husband tear up.”
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