CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 5. . . .October 4, 2013
Mr. King lives on a big hill, and he wants to build himself a big castle to match. He begins cutting chunks out of the hillside to make his grand palace, much to the dismay of his friends who quickly come to investigate what is happening to the land. When Mr. King finishes his castle, however, he realizes that, by using so many blocks for his home, he has left nothing of the nice, big hill.
This second tale in the Mr. King series, the first being Mr. King’s Things, by award-winning illustrator Geneviève Côté, is all about learning to be cautious with resources and conscientious of the world around us. In building his castle, Mr. King ruins the hillside on which he and all of his friends live and play. He is so obsessed with making his home big and impressive that he destroys the natural beauty of the earth, leaving nothing to overlook from his castle windows, and barely anything for his friends to even stand on. After realizing his mistake, Mr. King and his friends replace the blocks of hillside he has taken, and in the end, he still gets a small addition to his castle after all.
The text of this story is short and straightforward. While the message of conservation and being cautious with resources is not directly stated, readers should have no difficulty understanding the moral of this tale. The real interest in this story, however, comes from the illustrations. The sketched animals are cute, and some have interesting details in their colourings, such as the squared pattern on Harriet the owl’s wings. The cut-out appearance of the hillside makes for interesting depictions of shapes and gives a wonderful sense of texture to the images. The look of Mr. King’s castle is also full of various unique designs and shades of colour.
Mr. King’s Castle is a cute, simple story about being mindful of resources. With its easy text and vibrant illustrations, this tale could provide a good introduction to a lesson on sharing, working together, or the environment.
Meredith Cleversey, a librarian in Cambridge, ON, loves to read, write, and live in a world of pure imagination.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal
use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.