Louis I, King of the Sheep

Olivier Tallec, trans. from the French by Claudia Zoe Bedrick. Enchanted Lion (Consortium, dist.), $17.95 (36p) ISBN 978-1-59270-185-8
When a breeze-tossed crown lands at your feet (or hooves, as the case may be), what can it mean but that you are destined to rule? The divine right of kings applies to sheep, right? “And so it was one windy day that Louis the sheep thereby became Louis I, king of the sheep,” begins Tallec (the Big Wolf and Little Wolf books). Louis promptly begins to walk on two legs, wields a branch as a scepter, and adopts a regal, Solomonic expression. Initially, there’s a palpable disconnect between the authority Louis claims and the attention of his citizenry; when he uses the crotch of a tree as a “throne from which to hand down justice, because justice is rather important,” the flock on the surrounding hillside is uninterested at best. Tallec has fun with Louis’s increasingly grandiose visions, which include importing lions to hunt and entertaining diplomats at a palace worthy of Versailles. Just as monarchy appears poised to become tyranny, another breeze prompts a changing of the guard. A witty, thought-provoking meditation on the seductiveness—and fleeting nature—of power. Ages 6–9. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/29/2015
Release date: 09/01/2015
Genre: Children's
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