cover image The Little Flower King

The Little Flower King

Kveta Pacovska. Picture Book Studio Ltd, $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-88708-221-4

The engagingly homely title character cavorts across vibrant, fanciful landscapes in search of a princess and true happiness--ultimately finding both amid the petals of one of his tulips. Pacovska's ( One, Five, Many ) stylishly chaotic illustrations, featuring a pastiche of paint, pencil and collage, transform the insubstantial plot into an excursion through a surreal world of skewed proportons. Art, type and layout all contribute to the whimsy: small windows cut out of successive pages reveal the bulbous-nosed king peering out the front of the book and the newly married couple (who ``had found each other at last'') mugging out the back. With its ultramodernist aspect--and decidedly European look--the work may find greater favor among art enthusiasts than picture-book aficionados. Those harboring a penchant for the absurd, however, will deem it a garden of delights. Ages 3-up. (Nov.)