The Invisible Kingdom

Rob Ryan. Interlink/Crocodile, $19.95 (64p) ISBN 978-1-56656-077-1
British artist Ryan (A Sky Full of Kindness) offers a fanciful modern fairy tale illustrated with a whole sheaf of his intricately detailed cut-paper silhouettes, including a poster on the back of the dust jacket. The hero, a young prince, lives in a palace in the middle of the city, trapped by protocol. His parents are remote, and his tutor, Lord Von Dronus, is an odious prig. After the death of his father, the prince—now the king—finds a secret exit and leaves the palace for the first time. “All of my life I have lived according to the needs and demands of others,” he says to himself. “This is my coronation, this is my crowning.” Wandering the city at night, he experiences the beauty of ordinary life for the first time. When Lord Von Dronus discovers the young man’s exploits—“We had reason to believe Your Majesty’s life was in danger,” he sneers—the royal summons his courage: “Well, obviously I’m perfectly well.... Please would you close the door on your way out?” It’s the first of three volumes, and readers will long for the next book. Ages 8–up. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/19/2015
Release date: 09/01/2015
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 64 pages - 978-1-56656-020-7
Hardcover - 64 pages - 978-0-09-194443-8
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