Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, has authored and will publish on June 8, 2021, her first children’s book, THE BENCH, about the special bond between father and son—as seen through a mother’s eyes. Inspired by her own husband and son, The Duchess of Sussex’s debut touchingly captures the evolving and expanding relationship between fathers and sons and reminds us of the many ways that love can take shape and be expressed in a modern family.
THE BENCH is illustrated by Caldecott-winning and bestselling artist Christian Robinson and will be published by Random House Children’s Books (RHCB) in the US, as announced by Barbara Marcus, President & Publisher, RHCB. The title will be published simultaneously by Tundra Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada; and Puffin, an imprint of Penguin Random House Children’s UK, in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, India, and South Africa.
The author will also narrate the audiobook edition, to be released in the US by Listening Library, an imprint of the Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group; in Canada by Tundra Books and in the UK by Penguin Random House UK Audio.
Evoking a deep sense of warmth, connection, and compassion, THE BENCH gives readers a window into shared and enduring moments between a diverse group of fathers and sons—moments of peace and reflection, trust and belief, discovery and learning, and lasting comfort.
Christian Robinson expands on his signature style, working in watercolor for the first time, to bring joy and softness to the pages, reflecting the beauty of a father’s love through a mother’s eyes.
“The Bench started as a poem I wrote for my husband on Father’s Day, the month after Archie was born,” says Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex. “That poem became this story. Christian layered in beautiful and ethereal watercolor illustrations that capture the warmth, joy, and comfort of the relationship between fathers and sons from all walks of life; this representation was particularly important to me, and Christian and I worked closely to depict this special bond through an inclusive lens. My hope is that The Bench resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine.”
“Meghan’s touching text explores the relationship between fathers and sons and undeniably tugs at the heartstrings that parents and caregivers feel,” says Mallory Loehr, EVP & Publisher, Random House Books for Young Readers Group. “Christian’s art beautifully matches the tender emotion of Meghan’s words, and every spread is infused with a vibrant sense of joy and love. The Bench is timeless—it feels destined to become one of those books that people will be reading for generations to come.”
Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, is a mother, wife, feminist, and activist. Through the nonprofit work of the Archewell Foundation, she and her husband are committed to activating compassion in communities across the world. She currently resides in her home state of California with her family, two dogs, and a growing flock of rescue chickens.
Christian Robinson received a Caldecott Honor and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor for his art in Last Stop on Market Street. He is the author and illustrator of the picture books Another and You Matter, and he has illustrated many more, including Milo Imagines the World, Carmela Full of Wishes, and the Gaston and Friends series.