Queen Victoria’s Christmas

Queen Victoria’s Christmas

Jackie French & Bruce Whatley, HarperCollins

I did know, probably from reading so many Jean Plaidy books as a teenager, that Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s adored husband, was connected with Christmas trees in some way, so it was really nice to learn more about it especially in such a beautiful picture book.

The pictures in Queen Victoria’s Christmas are very amusing and children will love them; for instance, a soldier with a parrot in his bearskin helmet, dogs pulling the same soldier through the kitchen under the table and disrupting the cooking and the soldier almost concealed by a tree which he has to carry.

There are also pictures which will amuse the adult reader, such as Queen Victoria being dressed in a full-length dress with veil and crown in every picture she appears in, even first thing in the morning with four children and a baby in her arms.

I also loved the pictures that almost appear to be moving, such as the dogs and parrot in front of the closed door that appear to be ready to charge in the minute the door is open.

The story also builds up a lovely feeling of suspense; with only a few words on each page to ensure that you won’t know what the exact ending is going to be, until you actually reach it.

What is the mystery in the palace?

Spicy cakes

and fruit mince pies

Paper shapes

and funny cries …

The words are written in a variety of fonts, including some with curls, and the words are placed on different parts of the page, not always in a straight line.

I really liked this book. I just may want to keep it forever and not give it to any little child for Christmas.

Katy Gerner

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