Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
It's hard to miss the point of this fable about the kindly King of Little Things (who had "everything he needed, and didn't want for more") and his victimization by the ambitious and obnoxious King Normous. Small, Lepp clearly feels, is beautiful. Yet the story doesn't pall. Lepp revels in exploring the many ways the King of Little Things' insignificant but loyal subjects serve him, offering help in an early skirmish ("the soldiers found mealworms in their bread, chiggers in their underpants, and fungus between their toes"), then comforting him with crumbs and seeds after he is imprisoned. When the King of Little Things decides he's had enough, he sends out a plea for all little things to strike: "Boats listed. Words twisted. Lights unlit. Scarves unknit. And every little thing, everywhere, refused to work." Wenzel delivers Mad magazine-style spreads of medieval feasts, battles, capes, and crowns. Brainy wordplay abounds, and a scavenger hunt is included, too. Lepp affirms living simply without sounding smarmy, and Wenzel offers a king whose underpants fall off. What's not to like? Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 2-The King of Little Things kindly rules over everything small, from "coins, candles, combs, keys" to "barnacles, bats and fried bologna." Content in his kingdom, he "had everything he needed and didn't want for more." His nemesis and antithesis, greedy King Normous, is intent on conquering the tiny empire and presumes an easy victory. The King of Little Things's eclectic subjects come to the rescue and thwart Normous's armies ("the soldiers found mealworms in their bread, chiggers in their underpants, and fungus between their toes") and stage a worldwide revolt ("Lights unlit. Scarves unknit. And every little thing, everywhere, REFUSED TO WORK"). Wenzel's watercolor illustrations present a medieval world of turreted castles, banquet tables laden with food, and raiding soldiers. There are plenty of humorous details such as nails that spring from doors and buttons that pop from suspenders. The witty writing enlivens this fable about appreciating the small things in life.-Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
King Normous wants to be "king of all the world" and imprisons the titular king. But the little things of the land rebel ("Bolts bolted. / Brakes jolted. / Cookies crumbled. / Blocks tumbled") and villagers storm Normous's castle in protest. The book succeeds beautifully as both a richly illustrated fairy tale and social commentary about the perils of greed. (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Don't underestimate the power and importance of small things. Trouble is brewing: Insatiably greedy King Normous wants to be king of the whole world. His giant army ruthlessly conquers every other kingdom and empire. He is happy until he learns of the existence of his polar opposite, "His Miniscule Majestythe King of Little Things." Now he won't rest until he has conquered that realm as well. The little king is content among his small things, such as insects, coins and buttons, and he is not as weak as Normous believes. He involves all his very loyal subjects, those little things, to help repel the invasion, and King Normous' little things mutiny to join them. Naturally, there is a happy ending for everyone, except King Normous, of course, who is plagued by small things forever. Rich, image-filled language, including several rhythmic lists--"He raided realms. He squashed sovereignties. He eradicated empires"--emphasizes the two characters' opposing life views and highlights their battles. The tale moves briskly, with high drama and gentle humor, and allows readers to find the moral naturally. Wenzel's watercolor illustrations are in perfect harmony with the text, in both detail and tone. Endpapers depict an assortment of small things that can be found within the illustrations, encouraging further examination. Adults and children who read this delightful and imaginative book together will find lots to talk about. (Picture book. 4-9)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.