'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 11 November 2011

Review: Grumpy Little King

It’s just so wonderful to open a book and have your toes curl with delight. So wonderful to feel an entire catalogue of retro childhood picture books come rushing back as you flick through each page - an idyllic balance of visuals, text and plot that leave you as breathless as the impressionable child you once were.

Such is the perfection of Grumpy Little King.

Michel Streich has created a timeless classic that straddles both the past and the future in this truly delightful book. Following the travails of a king with serious small-man-syndrome, this story covers war with humour and a featherlike touch that nonetheless manages to pack a powerful moralistic punch.

When the Grumpy Little King consults his advisers on how to make his country bigger and richer, he’s told the fastest track to world domination is war.

But first he has to find an enemy.

Choosing the Lanky King, the Grumpy Little King sets about amassing an army – from farmers and teachers and bakers – tanks, ships and guns – then he returns to his palace and gives the order to attack.

It’s not until the imminently warring soldiers realise their respective kings are missing from the front line… and indeed, the grumpy one is sitting at home in his palace sipping a nice cup of tea – that they take things in their own hands.

Subtle, powerful, funny, charming, visually encapsulating, this is a timeless tale that has utterly delighted our family – and if repeat readings have anything to go by – it will continue to delight for a long time to come.

Title: Grumpy Little King
Author/Illustrator: Michel Streich
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $24.99
Publication Date: 1 October 2011
ISBN: 9781742375724
Format: Hard cover
For ages: 6+
Type: Picture Book