Only the King of Little Things stands between King Normous and his goal of conquering the world. And little things can wield great power.
In a world of vast kingdoms lives a king who is happy and content to reign over all things small. Not so King Normous. He wants to be Ruler of All the World. After having erased every empire and raided every realm, Normous is enraged to learn that the King of Little Things still rules over his tiny kingdom. He sends his army to defeat this upstart, but he finds he cannot outfight or outwit a king who holds sway over the small things of the world. After all, it is the small things that keep the big things going.
Bil Lepp’s imaginative tale of the beauty and importance of all things small is perfectly paired with illustrator David T. Wenzel’s bright watercolor paintings.
★ “The tale moves briskly, with high drama and gentle humor, and allows readers to find the moral naturally. Wenzel’s watercolor illustrations are in perfect harmony with the text, in both detail and tone. Endpapers depict an assortment of small things that can be found within the illustrations, encouraging further examination. Adults and children who read this delightful and imaginative book together will find lots to talk about.” ―Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
“Small, Lepp clearly feels, is beautiful. Yet the story doesn’t pall. Lepp revels in exploring the many ways the King of Little Things’ insignificant but loyal subjects serve him…Wenzel delivers Mad magazine-style spreads of medieval feasts, battles, capes, and crowns. Brainy wordplay abounds, and a scavenger hunt is included, too. Lepp affirms living simply without sounding smarmy, and Wenzel offers a king whose underpants fall off. What’s not to like?” ―Publishers Weekly
“Wenzel’s watercolor illustrations present a medieval world of turreted castles, banquet tables laden with food, and raiding soldiers. There are plenty of humorous details such as nails that spring from doors and buttons that pop from suspenders. The witty writing enlivens this fable about appreciating the small things in life.” ―School Library Journal
“In David T. Wenzel’s lush and lively watercolor paintings, we meet ferocious King Normous, a massive fellow bent on world conquest. ‘He raided realms. He squashed sovereignties. He eradicated empires,’ Bil Lepp writes with cheery alliteration… No points for guessing which king prevails in this endearing and satisfying picture book for readers ages 5-10.” ―The Wall Street Journal
PEN/Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing ―PEN America, 2014
Irma Simonton and James H. Black Award for the Best Picture Book of the Year (Finalist) ―Bank Street College of Education, 2014
Parents’ Choice Gold Award ―Parents’ Choice Foundation, 2013
Best Children’s Books of the Year ―Bank Street College of Education, 2014
Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Award ―Westchester Library Association, 2015
The Original Art ―Society of Illustrators, 2014
Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Primary) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2014
Zena Sutherland Award for Children’s Literature (Best Overall Picture Book; Best Text) ―University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, 2014
Bill Martin, Jr. Picture Book Award (Nominee) ―Kansas Reading Association, 2015
Delaware Diamonds (Nominee, K-2) ―Diamond State Reading Association, 2014-2015
AR Level: 3.5
Themes: Collective Resistance, Humor, Power and Responsibility, Strength in Cooperation
BISAC 1: JUV012030 JUVENILE FICTION / Fairy Tales & Folklore / General
BISAC 2: JUV034000 JUVENILE FICTION / Royalty
BISAC 3: JUV039230 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Bullying