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Mr. King's Castle

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Overview

Mr. King wants to build himself a BIG castle. So he uses the closest available material to make the blocks he needs -- the land around his house that just happens to be home to his forest friends. When Mr. King's friends make him see what he's done, he realizes he's made a BIG mistake. Can he be king of his castle and a good friend, too? Young readers will delight in this second adventure of the shortsighted but well-meaning Mr. King.
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Overview

Mr. King wants to build himself a BIG castle. So he uses the closest available material to make the blocks he needs -- the land around his house that just happens to be home to his forest friends. When Mr. King's friends make him see what he's done, he realizes he's made a BIG mistake. Can he be king of his castle and a good friend, too? Young readers will delight in this second adventure of the shortsighted but well-meaning Mr. King.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
Mr. King likes things BIG! When he decides to build a BIG castle he looks no further than the hill near his home for materials. He chops blocks of earth into various shapes to construct his magnificent home. What he leaves behind are lots of holes, which results in disappointment from his friends. Owl wonders what happened to her napping spot, and rabbit searches in vain for green grass to nibble. With the flowers and trees gone, both the elk and the squirrels are unhappy. Surveying the destruction, Mr. King feels very small. With the help of his friends, he is able to deconstruct the castle and make the hill look just as it did before. They do keep one piece, however, to make a turret for Mr. King’s now small castle. The predominance of green emphasizes the responsible land management theme in a subtle way, while use of various shapes adds to the visual appeal. Illustrated with a crayon and tissue collage, this sweet cautionary tale may be useful as supplemental reading in a primary grade unit on conservation. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey AGERANGE: Ages 5 to 8.
School Library Journal
10/01/2013
PreS-K—Mr. King (a lion?) likes big things and decides to build a big castle on top of the hill where he lives. As it gets bigger and bigger, and he cuts more and more pieces out of the ground to make blocks for it, his animal friends come running, dismayed that they can no longer find the flowers, their favorite napping spots, the grass, and the hill itself. Mr. King looks out of his gigantic home and realizes that he has made "a BIG mistake." His friends help him restore the pieces to the hill, but they have one piece left over-and a surprise for Mr. King. The multimedia illustrations, mostly in bright green with touches of light yellows and browns, show the places where geometrical blocks of different shapes and sizes have been cut out of the hill in white. A simple lesson about preserving the environment and a sweet story as well, the book is not a necessary purchase, but it's a charming one nevertheless.—Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
Kirkus Reviews
In this companion to the similarly eco-themed Mr. King's Things (2012), a lion-turned–real estate developer recklessly undermines his own foundations. Fixed on expanding his house into a "BIG castle" since he likes "BIG things," Mr. King chips block-shaped pieces from the surrounding BIG hill to build battlements and colonnades. By the time he's finished his project, there's nothing left of the hill beneath but a few tiny green snippets floating in white space. Rather than letting gravity take over or moving her tale in some other, more realistic direction, Côté opts for, in essence, a do-over. Feeling "very small" at seeing the hill's other animal residents gathered to protest the loss of grass, flowers and habitat, Mr. King joins in to reassemble the cutout pieces back into seamless slopes. There's even a leftover block suitable for a smaller building project, so everyone gets to come away satisfied. Done in crayon and thin, streaked tissue collage, the brightly lit illustrations feature flat geometric shapes and smiling (before and after, at least), simply drawn cartoon figures. Much lightened by its upbeat resolution, a cautionary but not strident discussion starter about responsible resource allocation. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554539727
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 8/28/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Lexile: AD570L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Geneviève C?té is a Montreal artist whose illustrations have graced the pages of publications such as the New York Times and the Boston Globe. Her books have received three nominations for the Governor General's Award for Illustration, one of which went on to win, and she has also won the the Elisabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award.

Geneviève C?té is a Montreal artist whose illustrations have graced the pages of publications such as the New York Times and the Boston Globe. Her books have received three nominations for the Governor General's Award for Illustration, one of which went on to win, and she has also won the the Elisabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 13, 2013

    I just adore these illustrations. I love the use of white s

    I just adore these illustrations. I love the use of white space and the simple, geometric shapes the artist used to make up her pictures. Seriously cute!

    The story is about Mr. King who cuts up the hill he lives on in order to build a big castle. Once the castle is finished, he realizes that he no longer has a view and that he ticked off all his friends. So he decides to put everything back.

    I like the moral of this story; that you can't look out only for your own pleasure without some major consequences. I like the way Mr. King realizes his mistake and decides to make things right again, even at the expense of having a big castle to live in. This is a good book for children, to help them see that their actions affect more people than just themselves and that they might not always like the outcome of their choices.

    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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