The Queen's Handbag

illus. by Steve Antony. 32p. Scholastic. May 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781338032932.
PreS-Gr 1—This jolly, "Where's Waldo?"—style tour of Great Britain features a child-friendly queen and one of her corgis. When her ubiquitous handbag is stolen by a thieving swan, the monarch chases after him. Traveling by motorcycle, airplane, and bicycle, she goes all over Great Britain, visiting some of its most famous sites, including Windsor Castle, the White Cliffs of Dover, Oxford, and Edinburgh Castle. The monochromatic illustrations are simple yet heavily populated with figures, giving readers many hilarious details to find, such as the druidic policeman at Stonehenge, the kilted policeman performing riding tricks in Edinburgh, and the panda bear competing in the London Marathon alongside the queen, her corgi, and the criminal swan. The endpapers show hundreds of bobbies doing all sorts of silly things that will afford readers great amusement. After the story, Antony includes a brief description of each site that the queen and company visited. Some children may be confused because the verbs used on most pages correspond with the action depicted on the next spread. However, this format will create a sense of suspense when the book is read aloud.
VERDICT A strong addition to most picture book collections.

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