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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Do you like snow? I have to admit I don’t like it very much – at least, not all the time. King Mark definitely dislikes snow. When it starts snowing on Windy Hill Castle, King Mark goes into a real temper. He tries to order the snow to go away; he orders his wizard, Bert, to make it disappear, but nothing works. Bert tries to appease the king’s temper by turning the snow green. Happy again, the king goes out for a walk and instantly sinks into a drift of deep, green snow. He’s not a happy king. But when the snow, now white again, is seen to entertain the children of Windy Hill, the king wants to try sledding like the children. Snow can be fun. Sometimes.
Jocelyn Porter’s early reader picture story, The King Who Didn’t Like Snow, is a clever and funny little story about one temperamental king who always wanted to have things his way. “Do something, Bert!” he will frequently command his wizard, fully expecting him to obey, and fortunately for Bert and his partner and best friend, Broderick the bookworm, saving the day becomes a daily routine. The plot develops with ease as Bert and Broderick are introduced first, emphasizing Broderick’s special love of books. But, like the king, Broderick manages to get himself into a pickle now and then, especially when he starts reading Bert’s powerful book of spells and ends up casting a spell on himself. Young readers will chuckle at Broderick’s antics; they’ll be sympathetic to the king, to a point, but they’ll also want the king to ‘lighten up’ and enjoy the moment and stop being so grumpy. The language is simple, the illustrations bright, bold, and colorful, and the message is simple: be careful what you wish for and don’t be so greedy or bossy. Brilliant, educational, and fun! Loved it!