Hugo is a tiny king with a very large ego. But when he mistreats a villager who also happens to be a sorceress, the spell she casts causes his head to literally swell. Read more...
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Hugo is a tiny king with a very large ego. But when he mistreats a villager who also happens to be a sorceress, the spell she casts causes his head to literally swell. The more he boasts, the bigger it gets, until it finally topples the mini monarch right off his castle Who will cut this royal pain down to size? And, more important, will anyone live happily ever after? Chris Van Dusen s hilarious story is matched only by his outrageous illustrations. Together, they make for a picture book that is sometimes fairy tale, sometimes cautionary tale, and always laugh-out loud funny."
- ISBN-13: 9780763650049
- ISBN-10: 0763650048
- Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
- Publish Date: July 2011
- Page Count: 40
- Reading Level: Ages 3-7
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-05-23
- Reviewer: Staff
"Long ago, when people spoke/ with words like ‘thou' and ‘thee,' " a Napoleonic figure (in attitude and physical stature) named King Hugo ruled supreme. While his subjects think he's a joke, they have no choice but abjection: they bow low when he passes by and pretend to listen his "Speech of Adoration," a weekly hours-long "boring buzz/ of how mighty and magnificent/ King Hugo thought he was." Comeuppance takes the form of a comely, feisty peasant maid named Tessa, who, unbeknownst to the king, is also a sorceress. "Let's see if all your arrogance/ can fit inside your head," she says, and sure enough, "his head kept bloating,/ bulging bigger every day" with each narcissistic act, until he looks like a bobble head doll on steroids. A life lesson and true love tie up the loose ends, but not before readers are treated to a terrific mélange of satire, slapstick, and caricature, all served up with expert comic timing. Van Dusen (The Circus Ship) may be puncturing the myth of infallible monarchy, but readers will have no trouble pledging obeisance to his comic majesty. Ages 3–6. (Aug.)