Kings of the Castle – Victoria Turnbull

 Kings of the Castle – Victoria Turnbull, Templar Books, (9780763692957), 2017

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review)  4

Genre:   Picture Book

What did you like about the book?  George is a little monster who sets out with his dog Boris to “…build a sand castle that would make any monster green with envy…”  George is sad when Boris ruins the castle but then another strange creature emerges from the ocean.  The two monsters try to communicate but do not speak the same language.  Boris helps them both find a way to communicate by drawing in the sand and George learns his new sea-monster friend is named Nepo.  The illustrations in colored pencil have a Maurice Sendak like style with expressive not-too scary monsters and a wonderful nighttime palette.  In a beautiful gatefold spread the reader sees the magnificent castle the two build together.  Although the tide eventually washes away the castle, their friendship will “…last forever.”  A lovely story about friendship, overcoming differences and the universality of art.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Readers who love Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are will enjoy this one.  Use it for story times with a friendship theme.  The night-time setting would also make this a nice bedtime story choice.

Who should buy this book?  Public libraries and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Picture Books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review:   5/1/17             

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