Review Blog

Jun 01 2012

The Queen with the Wobbly Bottom by Phillip Gwynne

cover image

Ill. by Bruce Whatley. Little Hare, 2012 ISBN 9781921714597. Hbk. RRP $24.95.
Turn on the television news in this year of Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee and you will see a very elegant, beautifully dressed woman; ask a child to draw a picture of a queen and you'll get someone tall and thin, complete with a cloak and crown - what you won't get is one with a wobbly bottom!
But that's the problem of the queen in this hilarious story by Phillip Gwynne which is perfectly illustrated by the master, Bruce Whatley. Despite being beautiful and clever, and being loved throughout the land, whenever the queen looked in the mirror, all she saw when she wiggled her hips was her bottom wobbling like a raspberry jelly! It distressed the queen so much that she posted a notice on the palace wall . . .
To whoever can solve the problem of the royal wobble, Her Majesty, Queen of the Land Offers a thousand gold coins. Predictably, this brought forth a range of people with a range of solutions which the queen dutifully tried. But whatever other improvements the pills, potions and inventions might have achieved, at the end of it all the queen still had a wobbly bottom.
Each failure brought an increase in the reward, and another round of hopeful winners. Even offering her own hand in marriage didn't bring the answer until a most unlikely person came to the palace . . . so unlikely that the queen had him thrown straight into the dungeon with all the other pretenders. However, in frustration she weakened and . . .
This is a funny, quirky tale that quickly made it to the top of Miss Nearly 6's favourites pile. She laughed all the way through, with just the occasional comment, 'Perhaps YOU could try that, Grandma', but it was the ending which delighted her the most. 'Ah, just like you and Grandad in reverse,' she said, with a sigh of satisfaction. OUCH!
Definitely one for helping children to learn to love themselves regardless and to build self-esteem - even if mine got a bit bruised.
Barbara Braxton

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