King for a Day

By School Library Journal

Spring has arrived in Lahore, Pakistan, and the celebration of Basant ushers it in with an annual kite-flying contest. Young Malik plans to win the self-proclaimed title of “king of Basant” by capturing and/or setting free more kites than anyone else. He puts all his faith in his small handmade kite, Falcon, and enters the competition. Thus ensues the story of how Malik, who, incidentally, is in a wheelchair, sits on his balcony and, with assistance from his sister and brother, wins the coveted designation and defeats the bully next door. Mixed-media collage illustrations consist of an intriguing combination of cut paper, floss, yarn, cloth, and pencil sketches. Varying perspectives include ground level, balcony level, and kite’s-eye views of the action. The breezy conditions are evident in the soaring kites, billowing curtains, and Malik’s sister’s clothing. An author’s note gives a historical view of the spring festival and its traditions in the ancient city.