Monday, April 13, 2015

Book Review: The King's Stilts by Dr. Seuss



Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Charming story and great illustrations
Cons: Lots of words so takes a bit longer to read than a typical picture book
The Bottom Line:
Balancing work, fun
Presented in fun story
That’s not work to read




You’ve Got to Have Fun

I have this feeling that I read The King's Stilts at some point in the past.  But when exactly that was, I can’t recall.  It’s certainly not one of Dr. Seuss’s better known books which is a shame because it is lots of fun.

King Britram has a very busy job.  His kingdom, Binn, lies below sea level and only the Dike Trees keep the water from coming in.  However, the Nizzard birds like to eat the tree’s roots, so he’s trained and army of patrol cats to keep the trees safe.  That requires all his attention most of the day, but at the end of the day, he enjoys spending time on his stilts as a way to relax.

However, Lord Droon doesn’t find the stilt walking very kingly, so he conspires to steal and hide the stilts.  What will happen when the king finds they are gone?

When you think of Dr. Seuss, you think of rhyming stories and a decent word to picture ratio.  That’s not the case here.  This story is told completely in prose, and most of the pages have lots of words on them. This is not a fast read, but if your child has the attention span for it, it’s a good story.  Because of that, I recommend it for older preschoolers.

The illustrations are classic Seuss, however.  His simple pen and ink style with caricatured animals and people is in full display here.  As always, they add to the charm of the story, especially as we are racing to the climax.

Adults will easily see where the story is heading, but kids won’t know.  Even if they do, it is a fun journey with a nice twist or two along the way.  And the ending for the characters?  Absolutely perfect.  Justice is served in the most creative way possible.

There’s even a moral about the importance of work and play, but it comes directly from the story and never once preaches to us.

So if you’ve missed this little gem, find a copy to read today.  It’s a shame this isn’t better known because I think The King's Stilts is pure fun.

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