Saturday, August 31, 2013

Conservation Message for Children

Mr. King's Castle
by Genevieve Cote

Mr. King is a cheerful, yellow feline who wears a crown of gold. He was first introduce in 2012 in Genevieve Cote's book Mr. King's Things, where he learned the value of reusing and recycling. Now, Mr. King is once again a very greedy cat. He lives on a BIG hill and wants to build a BIG castle, but when he completes his castle, there is no longer a hill for his friends Bert, Tex, Old Jim Elk, P.J. Skit, Skat, and Harriet to enjoy. Since Mr. King built his castle with a variety of pieces cut from the hill the friends are able to work together to rebuild the hill they all love. A surprise ending shows the power of friendship.

Ms. Cote's has created a beautiful story of friendship that teaches young children a lesson in conservation that is not overwhelming. The wonderful illustrations created with mixed media are bright and cheerful, while allowing the reader to follow along with the demise of the hill and the immensity of the castle Mr. King is building. I love the fact Mr. King's friends do not go to him yelling about their hill. Instead they question each other about the mystery, such as, "Where are the flowers?" and "What happened to my favorite napping spot?" Mr. King's reaction of feeling small when he sees his friend's expressions of sadness is the perfect opportunity to discuss empathy with young children. His immediate reaction to "put everything back" shows his growth and understanding of the mistake he made. I love how the friends work together to complete the puzzle that was the hill with the pieces of the castle fitting perfectly to re-create their favorite place.

This is a wonderful book to share with all age levels and will be especially appropriate during Earth Day celebrations.

*To comply with new guidelines introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Kids Can Press has provided a complimentary electronic copy of this book for review purposes. My review is in no way influenced by the author or publishing company and is solely my opinion.