THE KING HAS GOAT EARS by Katarina Jovanovic


Age Range: 4 - 7
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Jovanovic’s debut adapts a Serbian variant of a King Midas story, placing the emphasis on acceptance. Because of his self-consciousness about his unusual goat-ears, shut-in King Boyan engages a new barber for each haircut, imprisoning the previous ones. Apprentice Igor volunteers to barber the King and—apparently unlike his predecessors—seems unperturbed by those ears. Allowed to come and go between village and palace, Igor shouts his secret into a hole in the meadow, where a bit of botanical magic (reeds embodying the revelatory words grow from the hole) results in flutes that only play the titular sentence. Shepherds sell the flutes at the May Fair, which Igor has convinced the king to attend. All ends well, and Jovanovic’s clear telling elucidates the detailed plot. Kids might question the logic, though: If one barber could be detained at the palace, why would the king need to employ a succession of them? Igor knows all about the reeds and flutes, though neither text nor pictures reveal how. Béha’s mixed-media collages brightly blend photographic elements, Chagall-esque, white-faced figures and waxy layers of color. Sadly, there is no source note. (Picture book/folktale. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-896580-22-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Tradewind Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2008


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