The Queen with the Wobbly Bottom, by Phillip Gwynne & Bruce Whatley

There once was a queen, a beautiful and clever queen, who was loved throughout her land.
But when she looked in the mirror, when she wriggled her hips, her bottom wobbled just like a raspberry jelly.

No matter what the Royal Lady-In-Waiting tells her, the Queen is sure that her people can’t possibly love her, because of her big wobbly bottom. So she offers ever increasing rewards for whoever can solve the problem of the royal wobble. But it’s hard – the royal beautician can’t fix it, the royal inventor can’t fix it, even the royal fitness instructor can’t do it. The Queen is about to despair, until the Poet offers a solution. The Queen doesn’t think it will work but, encourage by her Lady-In-Waiting she gives it a go. The Poet doesn’t fix the wobble but, after writing her poems of praise each day for thirty days, he fixes her self-perception. The Queen realises, at last, that she is loved, wobbly bottom or not.

The Queen with the Wobbly Bottom is a delightful, humours picture book story about self-confidence, wobbly bottoms and the value of good poetry. The message is strong, but there’s no need for it to be hammered, because the humour and simplicity of the solution says it all.The illustrations show the cleverness we have come to expect from much-loved illustrator Bruce Whatley, with the Queen portrayed as a abuetifully round and regal hippopotamus, and her Lady-In-Waiting a clever-looking mouse, with the other court members a delightful array of animals.

This is a picture book which youngsters will love both for the tale and for the chance to explore the illustrations, and educators and parents will also love the message. Poets (and lovers of poetry) will also adore that it is poetry that saves the day!

The Queen with the Wobbly Bottom

The Queen with the Wobbly Bottom, by Phillip Gwynne & Bruce Whatley
Litte Hare, 2012
ISBN 9781921714597

This book is available in good bookstores or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

Who's Laughing? by David Bedford and Leonie Worthington

Hippo is trying to sleep but someone’s laughing is keeping him awake. This lift the flap book takes hippo (and young readers) through the jungle, as he finds who is laughing on each double page spread. The Heee-hawww! Heee-hawww! comes from donkey, while rrrah-ha-ha-ha! is lion and ubble! ubble! ubble!is turtle’s laugh. Hippo is pretty unimpressed, but kids will love the novelty of the different laughs and seeing who they belong to. They’ll also love the final spread where the laughter is coming from hippo himself and the cause of all the laughter is revealed – monkey is tickling everyone with a bright pink feather. Kids will have fun going back and finding monkey and his feather in the earlier pages.

Who’s Laughing is a bright offering with plenty of colour and lots of laughs for an early childhood audience. The flaps are fold-down style, part of the sheet of each right hand page, so are sturdy and likely to withstand repeat ridings and handling by small readers.

Suitable for ages 2 to 5.

Who's Laughing?

Who’s Laughing? by David Bedford and Leonie Worthington
Little Hare, 2006