THE PAPER KINGDOM by Helena Ku Rhee
Kirkus Star

THE PAPER KINGDOM

by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Daniel accompanies his parents to their job late one night and discovers a magical kingdom.

Daniel’s parents are night janitors and get ready for work just as Daniel gets ready for bed. Usually Auntie Clara babysits him, but one night when she cannot, Daniel must go with his parents to their job. Though the story takes place in the middle of the night, full-page illustrations brimming with color and depth bring the story to life. Unsurprisingly, Daniel is sleepy and on the verge of tears, but he must stay awake as his parents mop floors, vacuum, dust shelves, and clean the bathrooms. Despite his tiredness, Daniel can’t help but question why everything is a mess and why his parents must be the ones to clean up everything. It angers him to see his parents working so hard to clean up other people’s messes, but his parents reassure him with stories of the Paper Kingdom and well-meaning dragons. Lushly respectful illustrations perfectly complement this simple yet heartwarming story that highlights the struggles of working-class parents and the sacrifices they make for their families. Daniel’s parents sometimes appear multiple times on a spread, emphasizing their busyness. This diverse story features a family of color depicted with brown skin and black hair.

A beautiful, must-read tribute to hardworking families and the magic they create. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 18th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-525-64461-3
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2019




MORE BY PASCAL CAMPION

ChildrenGOOD MORNING, CITY by Pat Kiernan
by Pat Kiernan
ChildrenTHE LAST CHRISTMAS TREE by Stephen Krensky
by Stephen Krensky
ChildrenME AND DAD by Maria Catherine
by Maria Catherine