Review: The Tiny King by Taro Miura

tiny king

The Tiny King by Taro Miura

There once was a very tiny king who lived all alone in a big castle, guarded by an army of big soldiers.  He ate at a huge table with an enormous feast that he could never finish.  He rode a big horse that threw him off every time.  He had a big bathtub with a fountain.  But all of these things did not make him happy.  He slept alone in a big bed and could not sleep very well.  Then the tiny king married a big princess and they were very happy.  They had ten children and everyone was happy.  The soldiers were given a vacation, the castle was bright and busy, they finished the entire large feast, they all rode together on the big horse, everyone bathed together in the big fountain, and best of all, the king could now sleep soundly with all of them fitting perfectly in the big bed.

Miura is a graphic designer from Japan and he has created a book that is gorgeously designed.  His illustrations are big and bold, strong shapes popping with color against the solid backgrounds.  The backgrounds change as the tone of the book changes.  When the king is lonely, the backgrounds are solid black.  The page where he meets the big princess is white.  Then the pages where he has a family are bright colored.  Throughout, Miura incorporates pieces of paper with letters, writing, or stylized vintage objects making it even richer.

The story is a simple one, but also one that speaks volumes about how riches and power do not mean that you are living a fulfilling life.  It was not until love and people entered this tiny king’s life that he was happy.  Don’t expect a subtle storyline here.  It is too basic a book for that, one appropriate for very small children to enjoy.

The story of a tiny king with a big heart and huge amount of love to share is one that toddlers and young preschoolers will enjoy.  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from library copy.