The Queen's hat by Steve Antony
Hachette Children's Books, 2014. ISBN 978144491941.
(Ages: 5+) Recommended. Picture book, Queen, London, Humour. A blustering wind takes the hat from the Queen, as she sets off on a visit to the new Royal personage at Kensington Palace. The Queen's men, resplendent in their tall fur hats, busbies, and bright red uniforms, chase the hat with Her Majesty as it flies over some of the famous landmarks in London. Their numbers swell on each page. They clamber over the lion statue, they run through London Zoo, becoming entangled with several animals, while the Queen slides down the back of a giraffe, they take the Tube, then fly around the London Eye, Tower Bridge and Big Ben, until they all make it safely, landing in the gardens at Kensington Palace, the hat falling upon the baby in its pusher.
Great fun will be had by all who read this very funny book and the delicious illustrations engender much laughter. The sight of the Queen chasing her hat, dressed in the most mundane of clothes, followed by the ant-like guardsmen, will cause children to laugh out loud. That they are getting a small peek into some of the famous sights of London will also intrigue and set readers questioning about London and what people go there to see. The most famous drawcard for London tourism is of course, the Royal Family, so here is a book which introduces several members, introducing the idea to younger readers. The lines of running guardsmen across the front covers is repeated inside both endpapers, and children will have fun spotting the Queen, her hat and the Royal Corgi amongst the uniformed men.
Two other book which have recently appeared, Shhh! Don't wake the royal baby and Happy birthday, royal baby by Martha Mumford (Bloomsbury) will add to the fun in the classroom where these books are read.