cover image King Kenrick's Splinter

King Kenrick's Splinter

Sally Derby. Walker & Company, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-8027-8322-6

Anyone who has ever dreaded a splinter extraction will identify with King Kenrick, who tries hard not to cry when he jumps out of bed one morning and discovers a splinter in his big toe. Though the king initially declines the queen's assistance (she is at the ready with a needle and tweezers), he eventually concedes that he may need some help if he is to lead the Hero's Day parade and agrees to let the cook's Uncle Archibald have a go at it. Quite the tease, this eccentric fellow arrives with a bag full of tools-pliers for holding the toe, an ice pick for finding the splinter and a saw ""in case we can't get it out and have to amputate."" Derby and Gore, who teamed up for last spring's Jacob and the Stranger, are a good match. While the components of its plot are wildly exaggerated, the tale itself is subtly comforting. The lighthearted art, peopled with daffy caricatures, radiates sunny colors-and a keen sense of humor. Ages 4-7. (Oct.)