Queen’s Birthday Reading: Reviews of My Name is Elizabeth and The Queen with the Wobbly Bottom

What have you got planned for the Queen’s Birthday holiday?

After bejewelling our own royal crowns, we’ll be dressing up in majestic style for some special ‘Queen’s Birthday’ stories.


It’s the brief reference to Queen Elizabeth in this book that helps determine its place on our reading list for the Queen’s Birthday holiday.

What’s in a name? I personally love my given name but I rarely use it. I never refer to myself or introduce myself as Jaclyn. I find my nickname much more personable which probably explains why I’m unashamedly happy to play with other people’s names

I love shortening names and using nicknames. I use them as terms of endearment, but it very regularly gets me into trouble; usually with parents who chose their child’s name for a good reason. In My Name is Elizabeth, we meet a young girl who feels quite strongly about her actual name.

Young Elizabeth loves her name. She loves that it’s long, she loves that saying it does funny things to her mouth, and she loves that she shares her name with a queen.

BUT call her Lizzie, Liz, Beth or Betsy and you’re in for a rude surprise! Her actions certainly teach young readers how to be assertive stand up for themselves.

The story has an adorable ending and the illustrations are a delight. The pages are highlighted with backgrounds of duck-egg blue, and pops of orange feature upon predominantly black and white illustrations. These illustrations, along with speech bubbles, bring a little bit of jest to a very controversial topic.

This is such a cute and chic book which is sure to open up a can of worms about names.

Book details:

Author: Annika Dunklee

Illustrator: Matthew Forsythe

ISBN: 978-1921894077

Format: Hardback

Publisher : Little Hare (Hardie Grant Egmont), May 2012

RRP: $24.95 (aud)

Suitable for ages: 3+

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Even queens bear insecurities. They are people after all, and the queen in this story is no exception. That’s why The Queen with the Wobbly Bottom makes it on our Queen’s Birthday reading list.

The queen, although beautiful and clever, does not like her jelly-like bottom. Desperate to correct it, she puts out a public notice, with a reward attached, for someone to solve her wobbly problem.

Everyone comes knocking at her door: beauticians with cream, inventors with dewobbilisers, fitness instructors with fitness programs, tricksters with lotions, swindlers with potions, and quacks with pills of every colour.  They all manage to fool her for thirty days each and when she discovers that her bottom is still wobbly after each experiment, she throws them all into the dungeon.

Finally, it is a poet who saves the queen from a wobbly button. Her wobbly bottom remains, but each day for thirty days the poet writes the queen a poem. He praises the queen in each of his poems. In the end, the queen feels so confident and loved that she no longer worries about her imperfection.

Don’t be fooled by the jovial text and Bruce Whately’s hilarious illustrations. Phillip Gwynne has some deep messages for each and every reader beneath the surface of this amusing story. The story teaches children to focus on their strengths, concentrate more on how you treat people rather than how you look, and worry only about the things you can change. This story teaches parents the almighty power of praise; that loving and praising our children each and every day will breed happy and confident human beings.

Book Details:

Author: Phillip Gwynne

Illustrator: Bruce Whately

ISBN: 978-1921714597

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Little Hare (Hardie Grant Egmont),  April 2012

RRP: $24.95 (aud)

Suitable for ages: 4+

Queen’s Birthday Reading: Reviews of My Name is Elizabeth and The Queen with the Wobbly Bottom

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  1. My 5 year old daughters name is Alexandra but she is known widely as “Ali”. There has been so much confusion with her swimming and ballet classes as well as kinder because although she is enrolled with her full name, she always introduced herself as Ali and would never answer to Alexandra. Now that she has started school she prefers to be called Alexandra by her teachers and all her new friends and just the other day she said “The more I hear my full name the more I am in love with it!”. She isn’t correcting anyone as yet but I am guessing it won’t be too far away.. I will have to get my hands on a copy of this book.

    • I think Alexandra is a beautiful name to say. I’m glad your daughter loves it. I wonder whether she will go through a range of stages in her life wishing to be called Alexandra and Ali at different times.

  2. This book sounds delightful! The topic of names and how we feel about them is so interesting. My name is Sandra but family and close friends call me ‘Sandy’ which I love. However, I would feel uncomfortable being addressed as ‘Sandy’ in a formal situation and so am happy to switch between the two.

    • It is an interesting topic, and ‘My Name is Elizabeth’ (although light-hearted) really got me analysing my own name-altering behaviours. Like you Sandra, I also love my real name, and I like using it on my CV and in professional situations- but I also really love that I can switch to a different name in different situations- especially in more relaxed and personal relationships.

  3. I can’t wait to read both books, they sound fabulous. For some reason I’m one of those people who don’t like my name being shortened, especially to Mel. Not really sure why, I guess it’s simply because I like my name. I remember when I was younger I refused to reply if someone called me Mel, but I have become a little more tolerant as I have got older. Such an interesting topic to explore!

    • It is interesting, because everyone feels so differently about their own names. Melissa is a beautiful name. I can see why you don’t like it being shortened.

  4. Robyn said: On July 24, 2012

    I must get my hands on “my name is Elizabeth” my son is ALWAYS reminding me to call him by his given name- yet I’m a nickname person so I’m always calling him other things. I’m in trouble a lot :)

    • You sound very much like me. It’s going to take a lot to curb my nick-naming ways. :)

  5. That is a great topic,all my girls have their names shorten to a nickname and I have never thought to ask them if they like it.I have always been called Bek and I knew if I heard my full name Rebecca I was in trouble:) can’t wait to read this book with my girls.

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Queen’s Birthday Reading: Reviews of My Name is Elizabeth and The Queen with the Wobbly Bottom

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