Duchess of Sussex's 'The Bench' celebrates fathers and sons

The first picture book by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, is a multicultural tribute to fatherhood

NEW YORK -- The first children's book by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, is a multicultural tribute to fatherhood.

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"

“That poem became this story," said Meghan, who dedicated the book to “the man and the boy who made my heart go pump-pump.”

Her final stanza:

"Right there on your bench

The place you'll call home

With daddy and son

Where you'll never be 'lone"

Meghan and Harry announced last year they were quitting royal duties and moving to North America, their reasons including the racist attitudes of the British media. In a TV interview in March with Oprah Winfrey, they described unnervering comments about how dark Archie’s skin might be before his birth and Meghan talked about isolation so intense she contemplated suicide.

The British press so far has offered a mixed verdict on her book. The Telegraph labeled it “The Duchess of Sussex's semi-literate vanity project” while the Evening Standard called her writing “soothing, loving, although a little schmaltzy in places.”