This is the most beautiful picture book for children I have seen in many a year. Firstly, the balance between words and pictures is spot on - some picture books just have TOO many words for holding small children's attention or for repeated reading. Secondly the illustrations are lovely - quirky - but lovely. Finally the book is FULL of awe, wonder and reverence for nature, and communicates all these feelings with great immediacy. I might almost say that the book achieves a level of spirituality. Very special. A must have.
A wonderful tale to share with children aged around 4 - 6 years. The story is beautifully told and illustrated. I used the book to develop literacy, drama and environmental studies when teaching a themed block of work about mini-beasts. A modern classic.
This is a story about two children staying with their grandparents and sleeping in a tent in the shed. At night a tiny boy with wings - the king of tiny things - appears who tells them to follow him. It turns out that his job is to care for creepy crawlies. They help the king of tiny things with his jobs helping various creatures. Then they fail to follow him and find that he his boat has sunk and he is in the pond, barely alive. They look after him and the story has a happy ending. There's also a rather cute certificate at the back for the 'Chief Assistant to the King of Tiny Things'.
The idea of the king of tiny things is a great one and the book has some lovely ideas and writing, but I also found it just slightly weird at some points. For younger children, be aware that it include references to the kiss of life, burying dead things and a not-actually-being-dead-after-all-type-thing so be braced if those topics haven't come up yet. It felt like too old a book for my nearly four year old who was also asking questions like 'how do you make a new leg for a daddy long leg?' and whose distinction between fantasy and reality isn't completely there yet. There are also quite a few comments about creepy crawlies being scary or horrible, and although the book is ultimately about them being important instead, if they don't find them scary, you might not want to introduce the concept that they could be quite yet! Plus you've got the whole issue of the children following a stranger which niggled me slightly - again probably less a concern an older child.
I have always enjoyed Jeanne Willis's books since reading "The Bog Baby" to my small Granddaughter,so I had no doubt that this one would be equally as good,and I was'nt disappointed! There is the same magic in the story as in the previous book and Jeanne Willis has the knack of seeing things through a child's eyes.My little Granddaughter loved the story. We shall certainly be buying more of her books in the future!