From Publishers Weekly
This fresh rendering of Andersen's oft-told tale wittily underlines the "unforgivably silly" nature of the duped emperor and his fawning court. Mendelson's ( Stupid Emilien ) spare text twinkles with a mischievous irony ("Once upon a time there was an emperor who was much loved. Mostly by himself"), echoed in the humorously resplendent artwork: the emperor, a gorilla, consults with a council of chameleons; weasel spies in dark glasses are everywhere; and veiled harem seals shimmy sweetly. Luxuriously swathed, the emperor awaits delivery of a "rich and rare" new ensemble from his tailor, a rat famous for fashions that "can only be seen by those of highest distinction." When the emperor parades forth clad in nothing but a girdle "there arose only a shocked silence"--until a child blurts out the obvious truth. Mendelson's telling is both fun and hard-hitting, and while some of his sophisticated satire may go unnoticed by young readers, they will warm to his animal characters, his bountiful palette and the ornate opulence of his artwork. The final scenes of the near naked gorilla are a delight. Ages 6-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2 - A menagerie of animals and a clown-faced Emperor drawn in Rowe's distinctive style populate this version of Andersen's classic tale. It is a modern and succinct retelling that works well for sharing aloud. The story is shortened but otherwise is mostly faithful to the original, except for a surprise ending in which the Emperor joins the crowd in laughing at himself. However, Rowe's highly unusual illustrations are the main attraction, and perhaps also the drawback, to this book. The artwork is full of Bosch-like details, and it is sometimes difficult to tell what is going on. Some children may delight in the rosy-cheeked populace, but others may be put off by their eccentricity. Yet the depiction of the naked Emperor prancing and posing is delightfully expressive. Many other illustrated versions of this story are available, making this one an additional purchase. - Robin L. Gibson, formerly at Perry County District Library, New Lexington, OH
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