Book Review: The King of Little Things

23 Sep

Today’s book review is for The King of Little Things, written by Bill Lepp, illustrated by David T. Wenzel, published by Peachtree Publishers. I received an electronic copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The King of Little Things is a new fairy tale about two kings. The first King, the King of Little Things, lived in a small kingdom where he was sovereign of all things tiny. He led a happy and fulfilling life with a loving queen and was content with what he had. The second King was named King Normous. And King Normous was never satisfied–he always wanted more and most of all he wanted to be king of the entire world. But when he discovers the King of Little Things, King Normous finds out that little things can cause big problems. This fun tale will help children to see that bigger isn’t always better sometimes the littlest thing makes all the difference.

Lepp is a gifted storyteller. Not only has he come up with a great idea for a story, but he manages to relate it with skillful language. At the outset, he uses rhythm and alliteration to pull young children into the story by listing some of the many things that are in the dominion of the King of Little Things. He uses narrative tools such as rephrasing or restating with greater detail to emphasize ideas within the story, techniques common to the fairy tale genre. And throughout there are bits of humor masterfully woven into the tale that are sure to make both adults and children chuckle.

Wenzel’s illustrations are great. He uses a soft style and muted palette that suits the genre well. What makes them stand out is the attention to detail. In one image, King Normous sits after his conquests with an excessive ten crowns and headdresses stacked atop his head. Another depicts a map where every territory, save the Kingdom of Little Things, is marked with “MINE.” Wenzel artfully highlight’s Lepp’s humor–and adds to it–in his pictures. As a result, both the text and illustrations feel like integral parts of the story.

The book design is competent and professional. The typeface is clean and readable. Text is placed in the negative space of illustrations so as not to compete with the artwork itself. Page layouts vary facing page illustrations and two page spreads which enhance the pacing of the story.

This was a fun book to read and I look forward to sharing it with my daughter. It earns 4 out of 5 stars for being entertaining, creative, well-conceived and well-executed. If you’ve grown tired of the same old familiar fairy tales, definitely give this one a try. It’s got an excellent balance of moral and humor to keep adult and child entertained.

You can find more information about this book, including other reviews, at Goodreads.

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