A lively telling of a Serbian folktale. Each barber who cuts the king's hair ends up being kept prisoner in the palace. One day, a young apprentice called Miro accepts the challenge to cut the king's hair, despite the risks. When he discovers that the king has goat ears, he's careful not to tell anyone. But secrets have a way of coming out...What will the king do when he learns that everyone in town knows his secret?
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(254mm x 254mm x 13mm)
Publisher: Tradewind Books
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
Jovanovic's debut adapts a Serbian variant of a King Midas story, placing the emphasis on acceptance. Because of his self-consciousness about his unusual goat-ears, shut-in King Boyan engages a new barber for each haircut, imprisoning the previous ones. Apprentice Igor volunteers to barber the King and - apparently unlike his predecessors - seems unperturbed by those ears. Allowed to come and go between village and palace, Igor shouts his secret into a hole in the meadow, where a bit of botanical magic (reeds embodying the revelatory words grow from the hole) results in flutes that only play the titular sentence. Shepherds sell the flutes at the May Fair, which Igor has convinced the king to attend. All ends well, and Jovanovic's clear telling elucidates the detailed plot. Kids might question the logic, though: If one barber could be detained at the palace, why would the king need to employ a succession of them? Igor knows all about the reeds and flutes, though neither text nor pictures reveal how. Beha's mixed-media collages brightly blend photographic elements, Chagall-esque, white-faced figures and waxy layers of color. Sadly, there is no source note. (Picture book/folktale. 4-7) (Kirkus Reviews)
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