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The Little Regent

by Yewande Daniel-Ayoade and Ken Daley (ill.)

l to r: Yewande Daniel-Ayoade (Credit: Stephanie Lanting) and Ken Daley (Credit: Ken Daley)

Even as she grieves the death of her father, 8-year-old Abioye finds herself leading her small West African community. (In many Yoruba communities, when the king dies without a son, his daughter rules the community as a regent until the kingmakers choose a new king.) Although the chiefs in Abioye’s village do not like the idea of her ruling because she is a child, the scribe insists they must follow the law. Initially unsure of herself, Abioye remembers what her father used to say: “Those who will rule must first learn to serve.”

Yewande Daniel-Ayoade delivers a beautiful tale on the importance of learning to trust oneself in her latest children’s book, The Little Regent. Following her father’s words and bolstered by her mother’s encouragement, Abioye visits the villagers to learn of their struggles, and she vows to use her authority to help.

Illustrator Ken Daley creates beautiful landscapes – many presented as two-page spreads – with his blend of colours. They draw readers into the life of the village alongside Abioye.

By learning to believe in herself, Abioye is able to make a difference for the people in her community. The Little Regent speaks to the importance of leading through compassion and understanding, and learning to value tradition while making space for necessary change. After Abioye solves the villagers’ problems during her time as regent, the villagers refuse to vote for a new king and instead vote to change the law to make it possible for a female regent to become king. The Little Regent ultimately calls on young readers to see that leaders are only as strong as the support from the people they serve.


Reviewer: Angela Wright

Publisher: Owlkids Books


Price: $21.95

Page Count: 44 pp

Format: Cloth

ISBN: 978-1-77147-562-4

Released: March

Issue Date: April 2024

Categories: Kids’ Books, Picture Books

Age Range: 4–8