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Customer reviews

2.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change

on 15 March 2015
An inappropriately heavy-handed political treatise smuggled into a pretty shonky plot as a misguided attempt to indoctrinate the masses into being complicit in their own children's subjugation.

Regardless of your politics (and the polarising nature of this book, as shown by the reviews, illustrates how keen we all our to hand them on to our children) you cannot deny the fundamental flaw in this fable: Denver's status as one of the "deserving rich" is implied by his reaffirmation as head-honcho in the second town he makes his home. But in real life the majority of society's wealthy are not self-made genii occupying unassailable and deserving positions of wealth and prosperity; they are hand-me-downs from better, luckier, or more manipulative ancestors. In real life it's far likelier Denver would have rotted in a ditch and, in time, another Denver would have risen to take his place.

Children of the intended-age readership will all be baffled by this book. I recommend "Cheese Belongs to You!" by Alexis Deacon & Viviane Schwarz as a far more satisfying allegory of how the world really works.
7 people found this helpful
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on 18 August 2015
the obvious political steam train made me wince. i hope even my children will see through that. but the "don't listen to discontent" ending is sinister. was this written for the white south africa or slavery days usa or pre female votes or what. discontent can be for a good reason especially in children. bad message in this book. I guess its useful to teach kids not to believe everything they read...
7 people found this helpful
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on 21 March 2016
Simply astonishing that this book made it past editors, publishers and the criterati without anyone picking up that it was the Tory manifesto in picture book form. It's worse actually, its the kind of Milton Friedman extreme right economics that nowadays noone publicly espouses. Trickle-down all the way and don't try to change anything. Not worth the paper it's now recycled on.
3 people found this helpful
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on 28 July 2016
Very, very odd parable about the risks of redistribition of wealth, the untrustworthiness of the labouring classes, and the moral and personal superiority of the wealthy. At least Rollo had divine right as an excuse.
3 people found this helpful
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on 16 March 2016
The charming fairy tale of trickle down economics. Can't wait for the uplifting workhouse-based follow-up fable.
2 people found this helpful
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on 28 December 2013
Education should always challenge the prejudices of the age, so don't be put off by the other reviews. Make up your own mind, ask your child what he/she thinks. Is Denver a nice man? Does he do anything bad in this story? How is he different to the other people?
4 people found this helpful
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on 30 December 2013
First child's book that I have enjoyed reading as well. The reviews below are correct-in that it does have a message (and not thinly veiled). But I found it is a great 'fairness' book. We (well I) have found myself saying that 'life is not fair' well this book helps approach discussions about what is right and fair.
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on 25 April 2014
It's all about how clever the rich are and how stupid the poor are. Be thankful and do not question your position. Rich support the economy (that's partly true, but so do the not so wealthy) but the poor should never question the distribution of wealth as they should be happy they have a job (wrong), nor should they aspire for better in life. Let's go back to stately homes and poor George Orwell common people. A good life for everyone is not the message here. My view = wealthy and non wealthy alike should have the same opportunities if they work hard and aspire for better. David McKee I am very disappointed that you felt this was a propaganda message fit for very young children.
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on 2 November 2014
This is a great educational, well-written book. It is not saying that all rich people are nice: Denver is rich thanks to his skill and he is also magnanimous and wisely uses his money for the betterment of his society as well as providing employment for many of the locals - surely isn't this what we should want rich people to do? The townsfolk are made to turn jealous by an evil instigator - this is also human nature, but jealousy can never lead to anything good, and turning against their benefactor ultimately only leads to their own downfall. I don't think the lesson here is that one should know their own place, but rather one should not act on jealousy, discord and impulse - it's a warning not to act against your own best interests by bending your ear to ill-intentionate individuals and to be fair regarding your abilities and worth. Surely the lesson here is that, whichever position we find ourselves in, we should be like Denver and use our gifts and skills for the benefit of others, rather than giving into avarice or jealousy. This is a lesson I am very happy to have my 3-year old daughter learn, and anyway, the negative reviews seem to give too much credit to the political subtlety of toddlers...
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on 21 October 2012
I read this book today to my god children and was absolutely stunned. I thought I must be completely stupid and not get it but jumped on Amazon tonight and was vindicated to see the reviews here on Amazon. So it's not just me.

Basically the theme of this book is that we should be thankful to all the wonderful generous rich people and if not they'll leave us and the land we live in will be awful and we'll not be happy. I'm pleased to say my god children are 5 year old twins and a but too young to get it. It's now in the bin.

It's god one star from me because Amazon doesn't let you do zero.
11 people found this helpful
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