His Royal Buckliness

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hawkes ( Lady Bugatti ) attempts--with only moderate success--to combine magic and whimsy in this fantasy of opposites. Lord Buckley is plucked from his snug island by a crew of well-meaning giants who ``crowned him their king / then carried him to their frozen land filled with giant things.'' Harmless though his captors may be, the homesick peer casts a summons out to sea in a bottle. Soon afterward, a band of his countrymen arrives, laden down with a mysterious red-checked parcel that ultimately bursts forth with symbols of springtime, guaranteed to thaw even a frozen giant's heart. The subtle, often humorous details of the vibrant oil paintings go a long way toward invigorating the spare, rather forced rhyming text. (Hawkes's witty prose for his debut, Then the Troll Heard the Squeak , was far more buoyant.) Curious, saucer-eyed characters sport various amusing expressions; most appealing are the jolly faces, both large and small, to reassure readers that ``in the end, they parted friends, / and sent Lord Buckley home again.'' Ages 4-up. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 1-- This story starts on the title page where three large-eyed giants gaze at a small pantalooned figure playing on a beach. The men, dressed in Scottish costume, steal tiny Lord Buckley to be their king, carrying him off to their frozen land. The pampered child is not allowed to play for fear of injury, and, feeling alone and cranky, he drops a note in a bottle to his southern cousins. Eventually they find it and set out to rescue him. The surprise they bring is a bag full of frogs. Soon signs of spring break out, the snow melts, and everyone frolics together. Then Lord Buckley and his friends depart for home. The story is told in rhyme and is charmingly rendered. Hawkes's art work is appealing with loose painterly brush strokes. Warm, sunny colors give an Italian ambiance to the southern landscapes in contrast to the giants' cold realm. The adventure uses large double-page spreads as the rescue duo rides on rabbit's back and raven's wing to make their way to the stolen child. There is no sense of danger in the portrayal of the giants and their kingdom. Some parents may not like the basic premise of abduction, but children should enjoy the fantasy and happy ending. --Judith Gloyer, Milwaukee Public Library
Annie Ayres
"The Giants stole Lord Buckley and crowned him their king, then carried him to their frozen land filled with giant things." Thus begins the rhyming adventure of "His Royal Buckliness," who is carried off by tartan-clad giants and then rescued by his southern cousins, Sir Joshua and Sir Jake, who with "signs of summer, songs of spring, made those giant hearts take wing!" Unfortunately, the story contains an odd inconsistency in that Lord Buckley writes for rescue because the giants are treating him with kid gloves and not because he misses the delights of summer and spring, as the rest of the story implies. However, the true treasures of this nonsense tale from the illustrator of "Lady Bugatti" are the luscious, jewel-toned illustrations that flood the double-page spreads or trip across in four-panel sequences. Rich in color and eye-catching humorous animation, the illustrations tell a delightful tale and more than compensate for what is missing from the text.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688110635
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/1/1992
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 years

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