Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Review - In a Small Kingdom

In a Small Kingdom
by Tomie dePaola
illustrated by Doug Salati
Date: 2018
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

In a small kingdom along an ancient road, a bell rings out. The beloved king has died, leaving his magnificent and powerful Imperial Robe to his heir, the young prince.

But when the prince’s jealous older half-brother steals the Imperial Robe, slashing it to bits, the prince can no longer rule—and the small kingdom is in great danger. Now the young prince must find another source of power and of strength—and he finds it in a surprising place.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

WARNING: Minor Spoilers! To read this review with the spoilers hidden, check it out on Goodreads.

I know I read a lot of Tomie dePaola books when I was a small child, but I don't really remember any of them. When I saw this relatively recent title at the library, I thought I'd give it a try.

The story is simple (maybe a little too simple) and the themes are... well, nice, but I felt like something was lacking. The book reads like a fairytale, and yet the resolution is too easy. The villain runs away before he can be caught, never to be seen or heard from again. I would've liked to see a little more development of that part of the story; as it is, it's pretty unsatisfying.

The illustrations were just okay, and they needed to be really great to make up for the thin story. Overall, this book was mediocre and not very memorable.

Quotable moment:

The young prince's older half brother seethed with jealousy. "The old king was my father too," he said to himself. "How dare he choose my half brother to be king?"

In an instant the angry half brother knew what he would do. Without the Robe, the young prince cannot rule, he thought. He is too young, too weak. But I am not.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 2/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.5 out of 5

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