The Tiny King
Publication Date: October 8, 2013
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Fairy tale meets concept book—and a tiny king welcomes big changes—in this inspired story from Japan, beautifully illustrated with bold, geometric art.
Once upon a time there was a tiny king who lived in a big castle guarded by lots of big soldiers. Every day the tiny king eats dinner at his big table (he can never finish it all), rides on his big horse (he is thrown off every time), bathes in his big bath (not much fun), and sleeps, not very well, in his big bed. The tiny king is very sad and lonely, until one day he meets a big princess and asks her to be his queen. Not long after, they are blessed with children — lots of children. Now everything is just the right size, bath time is a real riot, and the tiny king sleeps soundly at last. With bright, bold cutouts and a whimsical use of collage, Japanese artist Taro Miura creates a witty, heartwarming story with huge appeal for readers big and small.
Taro Miura is an award-winning illustrator and graphic designer. He is the author of Ton and Tools and has been selected several times to exhibit his work at the Bologna Illustrators Exhibition. He lives in Japan.
This graphically cheerful, quietly amusing Japanese import is a celebration of family life in the key of C major.
—The Horn Book (starred review)
Working in digital collage, Miura combines flat blocky shapes, intricate cutouts, photographs, and other bits of iconographic paraphernalia in bright colors, establishing a cohesive and arresting style that references everything from Matisse to Madison Avenue. ... The simple, old-fashioned quality of the story and the modern drama of the illustrations combine to create an especially dynamic and resonant literary experience, simultaneously innovative and nostalgic, sure to charm legions of tiny listeners.
—Booklist (starred review)
The pacing and spare text create a gentle tone, making this an ideal story to share at bedtime. ... An engaging read-aloud, the narrative is also well suited for newly independent readers. The story offers a delightful glimpse into castle life, with its strength revealed in the king’s realization of wholeness through familial love.
—School Library Journal