King and King

( 18 )

Overview

The Crown Kitty and Friends
Cordially Invite You to Celebrate a Royal Wedding

Reception to follow in the Royal Gardens

Bring Lots of Presents

When the queen insists that the prince get married and take over as king, the search for a suitable mate does not turn out as expected.

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Overview

The Crown Kitty and Friends
Cordially Invite You to Celebrate a Royal Wedding

Reception to follow in the Royal Gardens

Bring Lots of Presents

When the queen insists that the prince get married and take over as king, the search for a suitable mate does not turn out as expected.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Indeed a book whose time has come, this is no pusillanimous bibliotherapy; it is, rather, a joyful celebration that at the same time firmly challenges the assumptions established and perpetuated by the entire canon of children’s picture books. Hurrah to newcomers de Haan and Nijland and to the publisher for bringing them to an American audience.”
—Starred review, Kirkus Reviews

“Progressive . . . inclusive . . . exuberant collage-flecked art.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“A great book to teach young readers about same-sex couples.”
Philadelphia Gay News

“[A] modern tale of happily-ever-after.” —NAPRA Review

Publishers Weekly
When a grouchy queen tells her layabout son that it's time for him to marry, he sighs, "Very well, Mother.... I must say, though, I've never cared much for princesses." His young page winks. Several unsatisfactory bachelorettes visit the castle before "Princess Madeleine and her brother, Prince Lee" appear in the doorway. The hero is smitten at once. "What a wonderful prince!" he and Prince Lee both exclaim, as a shower of tiny Valentine hearts flutters between them. First-time co-authors and artists de Hann and Nijland matter-of-factly conclude with the royal wedding of "King and King," the page boy's blushing romance with the leftover princess and the assurance that "everyone lives happily ever after." Unfortunately, the multimedia collages are cluttered with clashing colors, amorphous paper shapes, scribbles of ink and bleary brushstrokes; the characters' features are indistinct and sometimes ugly. Despite its gleeful disruption of the boy-meets-girl formula, this alterna-tale is not the fairest of them all. For a visually appealing and more nuanced treatment of diversity in general, Kitty Crowther's recent Jack and Jim is a better choice. Ages 6-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Most picture books deal with the acceptance of differences and diversity in an oblique manner, but this story takes a more direct approach to the subject of homosexuality. A young crown prince is being urged by his mother to marry before the end of summer. She has tired of ruling the country and wishes him to pick out a princess and settle down so she can take life easy. The eligible princesses come to visit, but none are just right. Then Princess Madeleine and her brother, Prince Lee, arrive and the prince falls in love with Prince Lee. They have a festive wedding and, as in most such stories, live happily ever after while the queen relaxes. This story recognizes no differences between homosexual and heterosexual relationships. Many youngsters will accept this in a matter-of-fact way, but others will have questions so parents should be prepared with age-appropriate answers. The colorful, amusing illustrations and the humor of the story will appeal to kids. 2002 (orig. 2000), Tricycle Press/Ten Speed Press,
— Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-In this postmodern fractured fairy tale, a worn-out and badly beleaguered Queen is ready for retirement. After many hours of nagging, the crown prince, who "never cared much for princesses," finally caves in and agrees to wed in order to ascend the throne. Their search for a suitable bride extends far and wide, but none of the eligible princesses strikes the Prince's fancy, until Princess Madeleine shows up. The Prince is immediately smitten- with her brother, Prince Lee. The wedding is "very special," the Queen settles down on a chaise lounge in the sun, and everyone lives happily ever after. Originally published in the Netherlands, this is a commendable fledgling effort with good intentions toward its subject matter. Unfortunately, though, the book is hobbled by thin characterization and ugly artwork; the homosexual prince comes across as fragile and languid, while the dour, matronly queen is a dead ringer for England's Victoria at her aesthetic worst. Some of the details in the artwork are interesting, including the "crown kitty" performing antics in the periphery. However, that isn't enough to compensate for page after page of cluttered, disjointed, ill-conceived art. The book does present same-sex marriage as a viable, acceptable way of life within an immediately recognizable narrative form, the fairy tale. However, those looking for picture books about alternative lifestyles may want to keep looking for a barrier-breaking classic on the subject.-Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Move over, Princess Smartypants: this Dutch import arrives to take top honors in the fairytale-fracturing department. When the pushy queen of a small, unnamed country decides it's high time for her son, the prince, to settle down and marry a princess so she can retire, he exhibits some reluctance-"I've never cared much for princesses"-but she eventually wears him down. There follows a seemingly endless parade of eligible princesses, but the prince is unmoved until Princess Madeleine shows up with her brother, Prince Lee, and, "It was love at first sight. / ‘What a wonderful prince!' " The prince and Prince Lee are duly wed, "And everyone lives happily ever after." The exuberant mixed-media illustrations have a distinctly European flair, employing vivid colors in bold combinations, and the line-and-color human figures have a childlike, almost primitive look. The prince himself looks rather like Mr. Gumpy with a crown; Prince Lee is a dashing chap with a goatee and an earring. Taken all together, the illustrations work wonderfully with the text to make its statement with no apologies whatsoever. After the wedding (at which the queen sheds a sentimental "tear or two"), the newlyweds gaze at each other over their monumental purple-and-pink cake, which, of course, is topped with two tiny princes. On the final, wordless page, the happy couple smooch, the actual meeting of lips chastely fig-leafed by a bright red heart. Indeed a book whose time has come, this is no pusillanimous bibliotherapy; it is, rather, a joyful celebration that at the same time firmly challenges the assumptions established and perpetuated by the entire canon of children's picture books. Hurrah to newcomers de Haan andNijland and to the publisher for bringing them to an American audience. (Picture book. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582460611
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 3/28/2003
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 498,389
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.23 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Writer and illustrator duo Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland met in art school and founded their studio in the dressing rooms of a former public swimming pool, The Papermill. (No, they don't wear flippers and goggles to work and yes, that is a lifeguard chair.) In addition to being talented artists, Linda and Stern are expert sandcastle builders. This is their first picture book.
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Read an Excerpt

On the tallest mountain above the town lived a queen,
the young crown prince,
and the crown kitty.

The queen had ruled for many long years and she was tired of it.
She made up her mind that the prince would marry and become king before the end of the summer.

“Wake up!”
called the queen.

“We’re going to have a little talk, you and I.”

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(7)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 17 of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2007

    Concerned High School Junior

    I loved this book even though it was challenged. People have a right to read whatever book you want it is like television. If you don't want to watch the show then you don't. Kids that will be reading and hearing this book arn't going to take the meaning of the story litteraly they are going to just think it's a story. It entertains them. You would think that a teacher would understand the fact of a banned or challenged book being silly or stupid, but I guess that children of my age shouldn't be reading what we want to even though we rarely want to read at all. So maybe if enough people push it this world could turn into the same one that it was in Farenheit 451(Ray Bradbury).

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2008

    Tolerance Please

    I think this book is lovely. It is not celebrating sexuality, but diversity. To be offended that the two kings in love kiss at the end is completely bigoted. No one was ever offended that the good Prince kissed Sleeping Beauty... who was obviously not awake and therefor unable to consent to being kissed. Does anyone claim she was assaulted? Really...kids with two mommies or two daddies are largely underrepresented in children's literature. Leave this sweet little story alone.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2005

    Simply lovely!!!

    I love King & King. It's wonderfull that's there is such a book, finally! It's fun, spontanious, unforced, sweet en and great! Thank you!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Why not a King and King?

    Great to get a good story out there that people are just people and who they are atttracted to is only natural for everyone. The cover art and illustrations are bizarre but eye-catching and draws the reader on to see what the artists will do next. With gay marriage now lawful in Iowa it is more important than ever to speak about same-sex unions as ordinary as any other union. Kids of same-sex couples should feel their home life is just like the kid's next door. This book is not about sex. It's simple about to whom we are each attracted. It begs the question --- when did you DECIDE you were straight. That's right, you didn't - you either are or you aren't.
    The last illustration is interesting in that the couple kisses but the lips are covered by a big red heart. I wonder - artist or publisher idea?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    One of the BEST Malecentric "Fairytales" (no pun intended) EVER!!!

    I joined this site with the sole purpose of writing a review for this book (may as well write more now). That is how amazing this book is. It is visually captivating and teaches a non-biased lesson about love and the freedoms that come along with it.<BR/><BR/>This book is not about sex, sexuality or sexual orientation. As adults we tend to forget that children have not necessarily been introduced to these topics unless it happened before they were ready. They have been introduced to love (completely different to them). That is child psychology, take a course if you don't believe me =)<BR/><BR/>This book, to children, is about one guy liking another guy more than he likes girls. That is it. Nothing sexual at all (what a perverted idea of someone think something sexual in a children's book). I feel bad for anyone who thinks otherwise. There is no trickery or propaganda, hidden agenda at all. If you have a difficult time reading into something that simple, just look at the picture because they are detailed and beautiful (you may not like the last one though).<BR/> <BR/>Here is a suggestion, read the book before writing a statement about it. I have read this one and the sequel to it. This one is a little better in my opinion, but that is usually the case with books and movies. I digress. <BR/><BR/>As a person who loves children's literature, this book provides a non-partisan opinion on guys who like guys (not talking about sex or sexuality). Why can't there be a male centered "fairytale"? Girls are generally more heavily influenced by romance while boys often want to see something explode. This book is lacking on the literal explosions though (that is about the only thing I would change in it).<BR/><BR/>*side note* Homosexuality isn't the problem in this book, fear and shame behind it are. Throwing negative stereotypes to sexuality and love are more harmful than any person loving another. Maybe we will have to go back to the pre-arranged marriages of the medieval times and fight for the freedom to love and be loved by someone. Again, not talking about sex.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2007

    Upset with some reviews

    I think this is a wonderful book which promotes diversity. Heterosexuality is so common, but for a child who may be confused at the feelings he or she might have, this book may clear it up. Bravo to the author, and one should be written for female couples as well. Let's not bar this book based on closed-minded people. Remember, we are protected by the first ammendment, and love and freedom of expression should be a more important lesson than instilling bigotry in our youth.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    This is one of my children's favorites.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2013

    This sweet book fits right in with all of my daughter's princess

    This sweet book fits right in with all of my daughter's princess stories, including the ending kiss and the couple living happily ever after. Though I sometimes struggle to find values to emphasize in the Disney stories -- I mean, what kind of role model is a mermaid who sacrifices the defining aspect of her personality for a man she's met once? -- the value of seeing people for who they really are and embracing love in all forms are readily apparent here.

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  • Posted February 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Story not educational

    I don't like the book just because it's deal with homosexuality. I don't like it because of the content, illustrations, plot climax, and the ending. First, the content is not educational. The stylistic delivery is very bland and it doesn't invite children to want to learn more about the characters or subject matter. The illustrations are murky with a dirty look. I can't describe it. I know that most illustrations are bright, colorful, digital with heavy lines, but maybe that's for a reason. Children like that. The climax just happens. There is no real depth to why and how it happens in the end. The ending startled me because it shows two men kissing. Even in heterosexual picture books, we never see kissing. Maybe holding hands or parents kissing the children, pets, or teddy bears, but not kissing each other. I have a problem with that because this is already a sensitive subject, adding that scene at the end does not make this a age appropriate book for 6 to 8 year olds.

    Molly's Family is a much better book addressing this subject. The characters are real, engrossing, educational, and the illustrations are clear and appealing for children.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2008

    a reviewer

    why would you introduce homosexuality to a group of six yr olds? wrong, WrOnG, WRONG!!!

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2007

    This book is not age appropriate.

    I can honestly say that none of my children began to even think about their sexuality before the age of 10. They were all busy playing outside, getting dirty, creating, playing make believe and basically just trying to understand the world around them. Each has their own distinct personality and should anyone of them at anytime come to me and proclaim their homosexuality, then I would accept and understand that this is who they are. What I don't understand is why as a society people find it necessary to push issues of sexuality at such an early age.It reminds me of the grotesques scenes in 'A Brave New World' where very young children are participating in acceptable promiscuous sexual behavior. This book takes away part of the innocence of childhood. Remember, tolerate does not mean celebrate!!! This book is not appropriate for 4-7 year olds.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2006

    Diversity = Man + Woman, Not King & King!

    This book teaches kids the worst aspects of sex discrimination. The king says 'I've never cared much for princesses', marginalizing women and making it seem like it's macho to exclude women. Then the king rejects all kinds of women because of superficial physical characteristics. To top it off, the king selects another man as his 'prince' and then they kiss at the end. By definition, homosexuality will NEVER allow gender diversity or equality in the name of 'love'. Why do we want to be teaching kids that love is about excluding others simply because they are a different gender? One man, one woman is uniquely inclusive gender diversity and equality. Let's keep it that way!

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2006

    Immoral for our youth!

    I was appauled when I read this story and heard that a local teacher had read it to her second grade class. Homosexuality has never been proven to be choice or genetic and to force this opinion on our youth is disgraceful. If prayer is not allowed in schools (forced belief), then why are we allowing books like this into our classrooms (again, forced belief). We need boundaries America! I am a teacher and this book will NEVER be read to my students!

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 17 of 18 Customer Reviews

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