Review Blog

Apr 02 2012

The Queen with the wobbly bottom by Phillip Gwynne

cover image

Ill. by Bruce Whatley. Little Hare, 2012. ISBN 9781 921714 59 7.
Warmly recommended. Picture book. Humour. A laugh out loud look at self image where the queen simply has too much time to look in mirrors! The large round mirror which reflects her size, shows her something she simply does not want to see, and so she sends far and wide for someone to fix her problem. A reward attracts some dubious responses, and as each fails, the person responsible is tossed into jail. A Beautician tells her that applying a potion will diminish the size of the royal bottom, an Inventor builds a spectacular machine, a Bard promises poetry. a Fitness Instructor promises exercises, all to no avail. But when the Royal Lady-In-Waiting suggest that the Poet be recalled, she finds that her bottom is quite forgotten after reading his poems, and all is well.
With the collaboration of two experienced people, Gwynne and Whatley, the result is a book which can be read and looked at over and over again, each time rewarding the listener, the reader and the browser with something new to ponder. Whatley's gentle watercolours are just lovely to look at, as he sets Gwynne's story in times past with characters with ruffs around their necks and feathered caps as well as more modern touches, swimming goggles, a delightful weight reducing piece of machinery and a kangaroo personal trainer, while a wobbly jelly turns up in unexpected places.
An ironic look at the beauty industry, readers will see for themselves how gullible people can be through the eyes of this lovely very round queen.
Fran Knight

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