cover image The Queen's Holiday

The Queen's Holiday

Margaret Wild. Orchard Books (NY), $13.99 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-531-08573-8

Wild presents a veddy proper British romp (distinctly different from the tone of her Let the Celebrations Begin! ), illustrated with panache by O'Loughlin, whose unflappable monarch looks remarkably like a cartoon version of Victoria herself. (Lest there be any doubt, such items as a beach-ball, luggage and ``the royal potty'' bear the initials VR .) When the Queen decides to ``go down to the sea to cool off,'' her royal retinue includes the butler who bears the morning tea, a kilted groom who carries five corgi dogs and a jewel-toting palace guard. But along the way the staff gets ``rather hot and silly'' and the slapstick fun begins. Her Majesty is clearly not amused, however, calling a halt to pillow fights and mud-pie making with an imperious ``This simply will not do!'' By book's end she has marched her crew to the sea--where she stands knee deep, wearing a lacy bathing costume complete with purple parasol, and ``a wonderful time'' is had by all. O'Laughlin's jaunty watercolors--vividly set against white backgrounds--provide considerable merriment in this sterling example of typically British silliness. Ages 3-6. (Aug.)