The Tiny King

The Tiny King by Taro Muiraby Taro Miura

first U.S. edition published 2013, by Candlewick Press

Here’s a sweet and funny story. Candlewick sent me a review copy of The Tiny King in the waning weeks of 2013. My eye was already eager for it thanks to this Calling Caldecott post about international illustrators, so it was a bit of postal perfection. (Speaking of, are you counting down the days to January 27th?)

And then for Christmas, my mom sent me a spectacular selection of picture books – including The Tiny King! She always says I’m tough to buy books for, like “purchasing jewelry for a jeweler.” Maybe that’s true, but I think she did a pretty darn good job. (The others were a Poky Little Puppy Christmas edition and an autographed Jon Scieszka, so. And all came from bbgb in Richmond, VA. Shop indie!)

There’s no moral to this story. Just an extra copy of The Tiny King for you! Stay tuned for how to snag it.

So, this book. It’s this crazy mashup of charming fairy tale and quirky collage. The result is exquisite and mesmerizing, and you get a taste of that from the cover alone.

A sword-gripping hand is strong and fierce but nothing more than a circle. His distinguished white hairdo dripping out from under his crown – a small stack of white, curved lines. A leg made up of newsprint, which on careful inspection is a snippet of the tiny King’s wedding announcement. Foreshadowing. Spoiler. Clever and adorable.

Did you see the mini-note at the bottom of the cover, too? (This is the actual size of the Tiny King.) What a little delight! DPB_Stack_TheTinyKing Now that you’ve met him on the cover where you’ve seen him smash end to end, flip open to the first page and see that stature in context. This split in scale made me laugh out loud and drop my jaw. It’s so stunning, and so easy to fall in love with this little dude – small and alone and swimming in it.

He has a massive colorful castle, an army of tall soldiers with spears, and a feast fit for a bigger king. The spreads that introduce the reader to his lavish and lonely lifestyle are dark and looming, despite his kooky, whimsical posessions. DPB_Stack_TheTinyKing2 And then one day, a big princess shows up. The light! The expanse of bright space! The Q on her triangled gown! I went all out gaga and giddy for our tiny hero.

Everything changes in tone and in mood. The story takes place on washes of pink, blue, and yellow. The babies arrive, the soldiers are sent home to their families, and the empty castle is filled up with a bunch of love. DPB_Stack_TheTinyKing3 Happily and beautifully ever after.

I’d love to send a copy from my castle to yours. Just comment here by Thursday night at midnight PST. I’ll announce winners for this giveaway (and The Mischievians!) on Friday, and head to the royal post office this weekend.

Good luck!

ch

Review copy provided by Candlewick Press.

 

 

65 Comments

  • Posted January 7, 2014 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    I love the illustrations in this book! Great post, Carter!

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Thanks! I’m glad you love it!

  • Posted January 7, 2014 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    I just adore the illustration of Tiny King gripping the horse’s tail tip for all he is worth!

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Yes! Getting all whipped around by the wind and the dirt?! Poor thing.

  • Posted January 7, 2014 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    What a beautiful book! A modern fairy tale. Thank you for sharing it!

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Yes, exactly! And you’re welcome!

  • Posted January 7, 2014 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Oh my goodness, this is just about the cutest thing ever. Kings and Queens, Princes and Princesses, they’re all very big in our household right now. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Perfect!

  • Posted January 7, 2014 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    So clever how the colors change with the story. Great endpapers, too.
    Thanks for having this little giveaway.

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    I love that it’s like his army is protecting him between the pages.

  • Annie Silvestro
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    This book looks awesome! Can’t wait to read it. Thanks for sharing!

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    You’ll love it. Promise!

  • Posted January 7, 2014 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    I love that your mother shops for your gift at an independent bookshop. Looks like she selected a winner.

  • katmaz2012
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    I love that your mother shops for your gift at the independent bookstore. Looked like she selected a winner!

  • katmaz2012
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    I meant that it looks like she selected a winner.

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    She did!

  • Posted January 7, 2014 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Oh, those illustrations are fabulous! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  • Posted January 7, 2014 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    What a gorgeous book, Carter! I love that it says this is the actual size of the tiny king :) I would love to win this one – thanks so much for offering the giveaway! (BTW, I got Alphablock for my granddaughter based on your review and she LOVES it! :))

  • Posted January 7, 2014 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    I’m having trouble seeing anything beyond those amazing endpapers. Whoa.

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    YES, Julie, I thought the same…the end papers grabbed me too.

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Adorable and intricate. Great minds think alike!

  • Kim Pfennigwerth
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    What a wonderful book to share – cannot wait to read this and explore all the illustrations!

  • Posted January 7, 2014 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Such playful fun with shapes, color AND an amazing story to boot. Fantastic.

  • erin
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    It’s just beautiful! Those colors–oh my.

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Right?!

  • leandrajwallace
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    My little guy would love the colors in this! Looks like a great book- I always love getting to see peeks into books like this. Thx!

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    You’re welcome! Thanks for reading!

  • Wendy
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Your mom could be designated shopper for me! This looks like another great book. I love that the castle looks like blocks, that kids could build. :)

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    She’d be happy to! She does have good taste.

  • Posted January 7, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Another great find, Carter! It fits in so well with all of the other “royal” books out there like Grumpy Little King, King Hugo’s Ego, and The King’s 6th Finger!

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Yes!! How awesome is that?! Great reminder of those. I LOVE The King’s 6th Finger!

  • Posted January 7, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Love the illustrations. The design looks like something you’d like. What a beautiful book!

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Ha! I love that you can tell.

  • kathyellen
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    That’s funny that you ended up with two! I saw this one at Hicklebee’s and thought it was the cutest thing. I’m always on the lookout for books about small people or things; since I was a small one, and still am, probably, though I feel like I’m way bigger now :)

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Oh, you sweet small thing. That’s adorable. I want to go to Hicklebee’s! Let’s go if I’m ever up in your neck of the woods.

  • Posted January 7, 2014 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Lurvely!

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    I knew you would like it.

  • Jennifer
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    I just put this on my must read books today!

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    You won’t regret it!

  • Posted January 7, 2014 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    SUPER excited about the ALA announcements.

    I was unfamiliar with this book. Thanks for sharing! I’ll check it out. :)

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    I think you’ll like it. And the awards are at 5:00 AM PST! Coffee!

  • Posted January 7, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    As a former teacher I immediately thought of ways this book could be the basis of lessons in art and drama. Charming.

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Yes! The shapes feel a little tangrammy to me, too.

  • Posted January 7, 2014 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Ummmmmazing!

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    FOR REAL.

  • Posted January 7, 2014 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Oh, so bold and bright and clever!! To have that much creativity and talent! So glad you posted this one, Carter. I love it!!

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    You do! You have it!

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Magnificently delightful, majestically artsy…love the small/large contrasts that are both in the text and the images, and as much appears to be the angst in the heart of the Tiny King. But love seems to prevail. Thanks Carter for your spotlight on such treasures, they inspire adventure in my writing and stretch my mind to imagine what an illustrator might do with my own stories.

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE that, about stretching your mind for what an illustrator will do. Once I started studying the art in picture books, it became so much more intuitive. Such a good reminder for us writers!

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Thanks for highlighting the gorgeous details of this book!

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    You’re welcome!

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    This is the first I’ve seen of this Tiny King! What a Big impression he makes!! You find the most delightful books! Thanks. I’ll be searching for this one.

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    I love that! Big Impression is right!

  • Patricia
    Posted January 8, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Cute, not your typical princess story.

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Thank goodness, right?

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m commenting because I should totally win. I have the cutest three-year-old in the entire world who brings me book after book to read to him so you should totally pick me. Wait… what? It’s totally random? Oh… well, you should still pick me. 😉

    How are ya, Carter?!

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Hey, you! Agreed. Your three year old is THE CUTEST!!

  • Laura Eklund
    Posted January 8, 2014 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    I love the details in the small illustrations, and I love how sweet the princess is! It’s not easy to find an illustrated princess that looks like it was created with kids in mind (childlike features, etc,). Beautiful book!

    Bbgb is my favorite place to take my kids :)

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    I wish I was closer to bbgb! What a place.

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    I love the illustrations and story – unique and captivating for tiny creative minds! 😀

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Big minds, too!

  • Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    I just ordered this book from the library and they said it was available. I’d love to have one here permanently..:)

  • Posted January 9, 2014 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Too adorable for words! The book and your description! ♥♥♥

  • Posted January 9, 2014 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Love this! I am looking to feature a blog on my website. Would you be interested in being a sponsor? beautythoughashes.com

  • Leah Claire
    Posted January 10, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Oh I would love this book! I’ve had it on my Amazon wishlist for months. Thanks for the view of some of the inside pages. I love it!

One Trackback

  • By Counting Down to the Caldecott | DMA Canvas on January 22, 2014 at 7:30 am

    […] adventure. To see more of Miura’s amazing illustrations, visit Carter Higgins’ blog Design of the Picture Book (one of my […]