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King and King Hardcover – March 1, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Like many fairytales of yore, this one deals with the current ruling monarch trying to marry off the next generation in order to pass along the thrown. In "King and King," the Queen wants her son the Prince to get married, whether he wants to or not. "Why, by the time I was your age, I'd been married twice already," she exclaims at him in exasperation.
She invites a series of princesses with a variety of diverse talents (opera singing, juggling etc.) to meet her son and commands him to pick one. Instead, he chooses the brother of one of the princesses and it's love at first sight. They marry and "everyone lives happily ever after." The post wedding kiss, is covered by a red heart.
The book is 32 pages, with very few words per page. It's illustrated in a cut-out collage style with bright colors and funny line drawings. According to editorial notes, its written at a 4 to 8-year-old reading level. This story presents a same-sex attraction and union in a sweet and child-like way. Its story line is direct and playful. And the out come is presented in a matter-of-fact way.
In this plot, the mother wants the son to conform to social norms and tradition. The son rebels and chooses love over the pressure of his family. And fairly quickly, the mother (and the rest of the Kingdom) comes around, and they live happily ever after.
This is the perfect book for supportive, tolerant families to use to be sure their young children know from the start that they will be accepted if they are gay or lesbian.Read more ›
But the ugly illustrations are just one of many problems with this book.
Frankly, I'm disappointed in how this story played out. The Prince doesn't WANT to marry at first. Instead, he is bullied into it by an overbearing nagging mother. Plus, most of the story was centered around the princesses he didn't choose because he didn't like their singing or their arms were too long or something else weird. Then he just falls in love with the first prince that walks through the door and decides to marry him just like that. I realize that "love at first sight" is a trope in a lot of older fairy tales, but too many Disney films are criticized for the medieval idea of having a girl just fall for the first prince she sees without a single thought to compatibility or personality. Is this tired cliche something the author really wants to continue?
This story could have been written a lot better. Why not have the Prince actually wanting to look for love (not just going through the motions to get his mom to shut up)? How about a parent who is understanding and supportive and not just a shrill harpy? How about the Prince meets another prince and gets to know him, THEN fall in love (you know, like people in real life do)?
I guess if you are struggling to find such picture books to introduce to young children, you may feel it necessary add it to your library. I for one found "And Tango Makes Three" a much better read (with the added bonus of having illustrations that didn't make my eyeballs bleed).
They could have done a lot better. For example, why not show a prince who has many beautiful, smart, good female friends that he loves but only as a friend and show that he wants to fall in love but he can't, or show a mom who still loves and respects his son after his decision to marry another guy. Queen does not say anything negative at the end, but there is no emphasis on acceptance or love either.
In summary, although I believe the intention is good, I do not recommend this book unless you do not mind your child having negative feelings toward LGBT individuals.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Illustrations are a bit cheeesy but the story line is geart!Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book is great! Although the illustrations could have been a little better the story line is impeccable, it sends a great authentic message. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Brenda
First, I just want to say that the illustrations are horrendous. Also, it is romanticized and very fictional… not at all representative of reality. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Julie Anderson
I so love this book==joyful! beautiful!! lovely! and shows happy love rather than controversial!Published 4 months ago by skr
King & King is a great book for small children. I know some people were upset at the way it really developed and changed in the last couple pages but I loved it. Read morePublished 6 months ago by K. Schweizer
The story is great!! The art work is horrible. I bought two copies to give one away as a wedding present to a friend but I chose not to include it in the gift. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Chris Bumpus
Disgusting and mindless book. This nothing more than a way to infiltrate young minds with perversion.Published 10 months ago by Truth Seeker