King for a Day

By Kirkus Online

This is the story of Basant, which is a festival celebrated all across South Asia, as the book’s opening note explains. Khan takes us right to the city of Lahore, Pakistan, where a young boy, who happens to be in a wheelchair, is preparing for the festival. It is his point of view from which this story is told. Never is the fact that he’s in a wheelchair a Big Deal or a Huge Plot Point or a Reason to Teach Us a Message, which is refreshing. “Exquisite” is the word the official Kirkus review uses to describe the mixed-media collages of Christiane Krömer. That pretty much nails it. This is the first time I’ve seen her artwork, though it’s not her first published picture book, and her textured, lively illustrations nearly leap off the pages. She uses fabrics, yarn, cut and torn paper, ribbons, strings, what look like pencil drawings, and much more. She also puts to use varied perspectives; in one of the closing spreads, we see the narrator looking down from the rooftop to see the neighbor bully the young girl. It’s a visually engaging book, and Krömer is an illustrator to keep an eye on. A triumphant tale of the king of the skies.

Read the full review here .