Summary: (from my library catalog) The lush, golden royal beard is a wondrous thing–especially to the king himself. He spends his days admiring and grooming it, and passes laws making it a crime punishable by death for anyone else’s face to sport even a single hair. As the people of the kingdom nervously shave daily, the royal beard grows and grows until it appears at the palace’s back gate. What happens next will have readers laughing along–and cheering for the astronomers who, unlike the tyrannical king, know that the earth is round.
I like this book because: the very strong, graphic compositions, and I love a good cautionary tale! And perhaps because of all the hair I’ve had to deal with as a mother of two who’ve always preferred long hair! I also admire the masterful use of a limited palette and simple but effective use of texture in the art. The story itself is a well-told and humorous tale of too much pride – great for discussions too!
Author/Illustrator: Olivier Tallec Publisher: Enchanted Lion, 2015; originally published in France by Actes Sud, 2014; translation Claudia Zoe Bedrick Age: 5-9 Themes: kings, rulers, sheep, power Opening: And so it was one windy day that Louis the sheep thereby became Louis I, King of the Sheep. Summary: (from my library’s catalog) When a crown lands at Louis the sheep’s feet, he crowns himself king of the sheep, imagining just what kind of a king he would be.
Why I like this book: It’s funny yet great food for thought for young people about authority and power and it’s place in our present world. Thew illustrations are sumptuous, yet the cartoon-style characters are totally suited to their rich surroundings. And if you are familiar with other Tallec books, you might recognize some characters (do read, Who Done It?, Chronicle Books, 2015)!
Resources/Activities: imagine what you might like to do as king; look into the reality of monarchies today; do kingdoms exist in the wild animal world?; would you like to live in a kingdom?
For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.