There's a certain verve in the telling, and more in Emily McCully's pictures--but the story of a king whose shoes always hurt (until a wise Fool tricked him into breaking a pair in) is pretty routine make-believe. . . until one gets to the ruse. As we hear it, the king is a crank for lack of comfortable shoes; has to be carried about, which makes him crankier still; is so cranky that none of his monthly Fools can make him laugh (so each gets an unwarranted whacking in turn). Then, along comes the April Fool--who leads the king over hill and dale and even trees (""Magic has its ups and downs,"" quoth the Fool) until he's worn out. And while he sleeps, the April Fool slips off his well-worn shoes (which, strangely, he never complained about) and presents them as the promised magic pair. It does skip right along, assuming one isn't put off by the patent artifices and time-worn motifs.