King Lion put out a request for all the beasts of his kingdom to bring him their favorite treat to eat. This request was not just to get food for himself from the creatures in his kingdom. No, there is to be a reward. The King will let the one whose food pleases him the best help him rule over his kingdom. Each animal brings their own favorite dish to the King. The pig makes a truffle stew. The bear brings some sweet honey bread. Fish makes some saltwater lemonade, while sparrow makes some cherry jam. Hen cooks some fresh eggs. Fox prepares a roast goose. Rabbit thinks a carrot and clover soup would please the King. Butterfly has a sweet nectar punch. Each animal does their finest to prepare a meal they think will please King Lion the most. The animals are vying for the job to help the King rule his kingdom. Children will read about many other animals that cook, roast, bake, and prepare food for the king. In addition, readers will be surprised at which animal pleases the King the most and why. This delightful book is written in lively rhyming verses. There are beautifully portrayed illustrations. Children and adults alike will love reading this charming book. This enchanting book would also be an excellent addition to any elementary classroom. Reviewer: Cathi I. White; Ages 5 to 10.
A 1912 German classic is reprinted in English for the first time in its 101-year-old history. The King of the Beasts declares that whosoever prepares for him the best dish will help him rule over the other animals in the future. In response to this challenge, each animal cooks or prepares the foods that please it best, thinking the lion will have similar tastes. From the donkey comes a prickly thistle salad, from the hedgehog come sausages made of snails, and so on. Only the clever wolf thinks to bring a single slaughtered lamb, a move that instantly makes him the lion's co-ruler. Compared in her day to Kate Greenaway and Elsa Beskow, von Olfers' simple watercolors feel more akin to Beatrix Potter thanks in part to her renderings of realistic animals performing various anthropomorphic actions. The translation does a sturdy and serviceable, if not particularly brilliant job. For example, it rhymes "the praise of the King" with "squibble-squabbling." Once children familiarize themselves with the early-20th-century design (copious white space right at the start), they may take to the story's plot. However, it is more likely that this will be far more beloved to collectors and historians than actual kids. Fun as a novelty piece, but unlikely to engage too many 21st-century readers. (Picture book. 4-8)