The King of Capri

The King of Capri

Book - 2003
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The greedy and self-centered king of Capri has a reversal of fortune when the wind blows all of his precious things into the backyard of a kind and generous Naples washerwoman, Mrs. Jewel.
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury Children's Books ; [S.l.] : Distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck Publishers, 2003
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9781582348308
1582348308
9781413181265
1413181260
Call Number: jPS Wint
Characteristics: [27] p. : col. ill. ; 31 cm
Additional Contributors: Ray, Jane - Illustrator

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FindingJane Dec 14, 2014

Ms. Winterson is known mainly for her adult writings. So I was lured in by seeing her name on a children’s book. It’s always interesting to see how capably authors who write for one segment of the population perform when turning their attentions to another.

The titular royal isn’t cruel or vicious so much as indifferent to other’s sufferings and a tad gluttonous. When the (literal) winds of fate swoop in, it produces a dramatic effect on all involved. The text and illustrations follows these proverbial winds, each corresponding to the other, so the readers must let their eyes wander across the page to follow the story.

The illustrations are simple, without shadow, reflection or perspective. But they brim with the colorful hues you would expect to find for a depiction of a sunny Italian isle. They are realistic but dotted here and there with (capri)cious touches. A black-and-white cow has images from blue china plates stamped on its hide. A bird clutches a balloon in its beak. A duck wears a bouffant, Mary-Tyler-Mooresque wig and a plaid-covered chair sports shoes on its legs as if it intends to dance.

The book is saucy, sly fun with a traditional happy ending. With its counting and lists, it marks itself as a true story for children, displaying the versatility of its author.

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