I Am the King

i am the king copy by Leo Timmers

{published 2008, by Gecko Press}

Boom. Instant color story. I bought this book for its cover. Except – it’s pink. Really. Here’s the back cover of my copy to assure you I am not crazybonkers. breaker The one up above is from Gecko Press’ website, and it’s blue! And gold! And I don’t know why, but I love that. Color is the standout of this book anyway, so even though I’m sure there’s a very official reason for the difference, it gives me another layer of grin-wrinkles. (Grinkles.)

Want more grinkles? Title page. Don’t skip over it, and don’t assume it’s just where all the boring stuff for librarians goes, because look: breakerThis moment, unknown to both a snoozing lion and a speedy turtle, drives the entire book. The story begins before the story starts. (And might now be my second favorite title page ever. Behind this one, of course.) breakerOne by one, wide-eyed and wishful animal friends fight for the right to that spectacular crown. The elephant’s anklet is my favorite. And so it’s never quite right until the true king regains his crown, but the mayhem along the way is as wild as the creatures themselves. breakerColor is a star. Mr. Timmers refrains from detailed backgrounds in favor of a solid, brightly colored backdrop. All of your attention is on the animal and his crazy claim. Where they live doesn’t matter, but they do. A tricky ape, a resolute croc, an elegant flamingo – all individuals, all with a hope and a story. breakerThe best way to distinguish these distinguished dudes? Color. A hue splash for each that matches their quirk and colors their dream to be king.


P.S. – Did you see? A chance to win a set of four Sassy board books!


  • Susan Halko
    Posted August 27, 2013 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Very cool! Especially that title page. Thanks for sharing this with us, Carter!

  • Posted August 27, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Love that you appreciate that, Susan!

  • Posted August 27, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Definitely want to read this one! Love the colors!

  • Posted August 27, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    So simple, right? Wink wink. So powerful.

  • Posted August 27, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Love this one! Bright colors, fun repetition~ I bet my 4YO would love this!

  • Posted August 27, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink


  • Posted August 27, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    This one is a winner. I’m glad I’m following your blog, because I’m learning so much about design. Knew some, but I love to see your choices.

  • Posted August 27, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Love this, Pat! Thank you!

  • Amy Burns
    Posted August 27, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Carter … thanks for reviewing this book from Leo Timmers. I was familar with his books: “Who is Driving”, and “All Through the Town” (I gave this book to a little boy age 3, who spends most of his days in a hospital, and it has been a great comfort, and bedtime companion) , … and this looks like another title! Wonderful in it’s simplicity. Always fun to get a sneek peak in a book!

  • Posted August 27, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Oh, big hugs to that little boy! He has good taste in art and books. Leo Timmers was new to me – looking forward to seeing BANG!

  • Posted August 28, 2013 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    i am in love with your blog and am a super avid collector of kids books. besides a great story, a lot of them are basically art to me. i fear the day that my kids are too old for picture books. i’ll have to come up with a valid excuse for continuing to fill up the book shelves.

  • Posted August 28, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    You’re never too old for picture books! I don’t have kids but I have super full bookshelves. Do it! And hi and thank you!

  • Posted August 28, 2013 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    the last 2 picture books i purchased for um, my kids, struck me immediately by their illustrations

    there’s kyo maclear’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf

    and The Insomniacs by karina wolf

    but you probably know all about these gems already…

  • Posted August 29, 2013 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Yes!! LOVE those! And those trailers are delicious. I wrote about Virginia Wolf at Design Mom. Do you know Danielle Davis’ This Picture Book Life? I think you will love her blog, too! http://thispicturebooklife.com

  • Posted August 30, 2013 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    danielle and her blog are amazing. can we just all be best friends?!

  • Posted August 30, 2013 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    YES! Of course. We already are. If you are ever in Los Angeles, we’ll make it for-real-official with coffee and giggles.

  • Posted August 30, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    love it!

  • Posted August 28, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Grinkles. 🙂
    Such a bold-looking book!

  • erin
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    The colors! Please insert audible gasp here 🙂 What a beauty!

  • Posted August 29, 2013 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I heard it!

  • Posted August 29, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    This looks like a fun book – thanks for posting! Love the colors, too!

  • Posted December 12, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on stevenswahilinews.