'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 21 April 2012

Review: Queen Victoria's Underpants

Jackie French once again perfectly combines history and fabulously fun storytelling in Queen Victoria's Underpants - a tale at the tail end of one of the world's finest monarchs.

Who'd have thought Queen Victoria would have been in need of knickers and in so doing, change the course of history for women's undergarments everywhere?

And where does a reigning monarch gain access to a year's supply of knickers? Well, her people approach the best undergarment seamstress in all of England, of course.

Told through the eyes of a young girl whose mother is tasked with sewing the royal underpants, this gorgeous story lifts the royal skirts and reveals all... how 52 pairs (one for each week of the year... ugh!) of delicately sewn and embroidered, long-legged panties, are created and delivered to a grateful Queen.

On the way, we are treated to the most delicately-drawn and heart-warming pictures by the masterful Bruce Whatley, showing us several (and hilarious) undergarment options for Queen Victoria should her new knickers not quite be up to scratch. My very favourite is the hot air balloon underpants so the monarch can float over her kingdom and survey all. The looks on the faces of Her Majesty's dogs is priceless.

Beautifully designed and laid out with a cheeky ending, this is a truly beautiful book. Masterfully written and illustrated by a dynamic Aussie duo, Queen Victoria's Underpants combine my personal love of history, gorgeous illustrations and humour all into one memorable package, making it one of my favourite picture books for 2010.

Also memorable for the fact that the royal court only washed a few times a year!


Title: Queen Victoria's Underpants
Author: Jackie French
Illustrator: Bruce Whatley
Publisher: HarperCollins, $24.99 RRP
Publication Date: 1 June 2010
Format: Hard cover
ISBN: 9780732288228
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book