The Emperor Who Hated Yellow

Jim Edmiston, Author, Jim Edminston, Author, Jim Edmiston, Illustrator
Jim Edmiston, Author, Jim Edminston, Author, Jim Edmiston, Illustrator Barefoot Books $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-902283-39-5
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This tale of an emperor in a distant onion-domed land passes as a rather banal game of hide-and-seek for toddlers. A ruler who spends his days admiring the length of his beard and breadth of his belly loses his most valued possession one day: his yellow cat, Mustard. He subsequently banishes all things yellow--scrambled eggs, cheese, pineapples, bananas--because they remind him of his beloved pet. The cat lurks on every spread, along with a recurring prompt to the reader to find him, until the two are reunited at the end. British author and artist Edmiston's work is prodigiously decorated with myriad free-flowing elements: as the emperor prepares for his bath, mice gleefully cart a discarded yellow sponge and lemon soap across the exotic-tiled floor, while soapy bubbles betray the reflection of a concealed Mustard beneath a luxurious, green-footed tub; barefoot servants in cone-shaped hats busily catch butterflies and paint bananas purple with orange spots. However, the emperor himself remains merely fat and buffoonish, and the belabored narrative doesn't keep pace with the artwork. Ages 2-6. (Mar.)
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