top of page
th king and hs wish, book review jane stadermann


By Alison Hawes   Illustrated by Kate Slater


My seven-year-old, who is a pretty mad reader, loved this book for most probably the wrong reasons. It had him in stitches. It was quite frankly dada-esque to him.


Super simple and written for first-readers, this is a cute and straight-forward book. A king wants a whole heap of boxes piled up so he can go 'up'. One of the nicer earlier readers I have seen as my seven-year-old's opinion rings true: it is amusingly ridiculous.


It is based on a traditional Caribbean story in which the king wants to reach the moon. The original story has the king having many boxes made in order to climb upwards. Forests are cut down in order to maintain the box supply but, in time this comes to an end, with the land tree-less and the king still not reaching the moon. The king then delves into a jenga-type rationality and has boxes removed from under him in order to pile more above. Ultimately this leads to his fall. 


This version of the story keeps the big-person-doing-nutty-things vibe. We all know better, we don't do nutty things like that ever. My kid loved the simple 'Get me that box' speckled with 'big' or 'red' over and over and the insistence of duty because he is king, no matter how absurd the request. We are keeping the book definitely.


Where to Buy: This is an Oxford Reading Tree Book, so you can actually read it for free on their educational site. Nothing beats paper when you are with your kids though, so local library, school or online is the option for the little treasure too.

bottom of page