This amphibian Emperor's New Clothes is "likely to please," said PW. Ages 5-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
The emperor had no clothes, and neither does the frog king, hero of this re-spinning of an old favorite. This time around, pride over his long shapely legs proves to be his downfall as he succumbs to the crafty tailors' tale of fantastic cloth which can be seen only by those "true, good, honest, smart and loyal." King Long Shanks, disliking their poetry and unwilling to seem any of the above, is no match for the yarns of the "tall tailor who squats to be shorter" and the "short tailor who stretches to be taller"-thus perfectly positioning themselves to poison his ears with their flattery. And so the story unwinds to its predictable but with-a-twist end, and a good laugh is had by all. The illustrations cleverly show two floors of the castle simultaneously, adding to the illusion of "there's more than meets the eye" and giving a young reader plenty of colorful scenes to contemplate while listening.
Children's Literature - Judy Chernak
K-Gr 4"King Long Shanks had very good legs and was a nice shade of green. Everyone said so. So it had to be true." Two visiting tailors, whispering to the king in poetry that "bumped in the wrong places and pretended to mean much more than it did," offer to make him an outfit from a mysterious, expensive, invisible magic cloth that would show off his great legs. The ensemble is completed, just in time for the Summer Parade. Of course, only those who are "true/and good/and honest/and smart/and loyal" can see this new finery. Yolen's version of "The Emperor's New Clothes" is both fresh and entertaining, especially when read aloud. The bright cartoon illustrations in watercolors, colored pencils, and pen and ink feature a large cast of costumed frogs. Their spotted green skins are echoed in the border surrounding each page of text and prominently featured on the book's cover. Filled with lots of sly expressions, the artwork suits the text perfectly. This delightful variation of a favorite fairy tale will charm audiences. In the words of the tailors, "Toadally majestic" and "Ribeting."Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH