KING ROLLO AND THE BIRTHDAY KING ROLLO AND THE BREAD KING ROLLO AND THE NEW SHOES by David McKee

KING ROLLO AND THE BIRTHDAY KING ROLLO AND THE BREAD KING ROLLO AND THE NEW SHOES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Three diminutive (4 1/8 x 5 1/4) volumes, bound in paper over boards, and enclosed in a slipcase: three teeny-tiny stories of some slight, raffish charm and varying amounts of substance--varying, that is, from almost none to as much as one might expect (except perhaps from Sendak), given the format. The least of the lot is King Rollo and the Birthday, wherein the King--who, though bearded, is unquestionably a child (one of the series' charms)--is prevailed upon to send Queen Gwen a birthday card of his own inexpert making; and since everyone else sends her the store card he had first selected, his is indeed ""different"" and ""special."" The one that's continuously engaging is King Rollo and the Bread. Here, the king and the magician--one of a stock company that includes a bossy cook--meet a farmer who has for lunch only a loaf of bread; and, it turns out, wants only that loaf of bread. King Rollo has the magician turn it first into roast chicken, then into chocolate cake, then spaghetti, then ice cream; but each time the farmer begs for his bread back. And finally, of course, King Rollo and the magician share the bread with him. ""Your magician is clever,"" says the farmer; ""So is your wife,"" says the king. King Rollo and the New Shoes casts the king more obviously as a child: his new shoes--and he already has, in a dandy picture, ""lots and lots""--are different because they have laces. So the magician, scorning to use magic (""A waste""), shows him how to loop and tie them; and after some to-do, he does. Memorable these are not, but they are diverting.

Pub Date: March 27th, 1980
Publisher: Atlantic/Little, Brown