Review: The Queen’s Handbag by Steve Antony

An illustrated tour of the UK.

Publication date: 5th May 2016
Publisher: Hachette Children’s

The Queen’s Handbag is the fantastic sequel to The Queen’s Hat. However, this time, instead of chasing the Queen’s belongings around London, there is a royal tour of Great Britain. The result is a hilarious – and educational – book, with so much to dwell on at each wonderful double spread.

A swan stealing a handbag might not sound like a premise for a book, but when the handbag belongs to the Queen of England it’s a whole other story. The pursuit of the bag allows the reader to follow the Queen throughout the UK, stopping off at famous landmarks as they go. The different modes of transport the Queen uses to go after the swan are ingenious, and as much a source of interest as the places she sees.

Antony’s illustrations are unmissable. They really bring the book to life, and the police chase gaining on the thieving swan is a joy to watch unfold. The landmarks are drawn simply but expertly, and the composition of each spread is a work of art.

I recommend this book mostly to UK readers, but there’s no reason why a curious child living elsewhere wouldn’t enjoy it. It could definitely be a great introduction to the UK if you’re planning a trip there. Overall, it’s a really enjoyable book which can be read again and again.