Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The King of Little Things

Lepp, Bil (Author)
Wenzel, David T. (Illustrator)
Peachtree Publishers 2013. 32 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9781561457083 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, figurative language

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

The language in this David-and-Goliath tale is a treat of imaginative vocabulary, witty alliteration and rip-snorting fun to read aloud: “He was king of coins, candles, combs, keys, knots, nods, knobby knees….”

Greed pits itself against contentment, as the King of Little Things endures attacks by King Normous: “We shall go there immediately and put this tiny king in his very small place.”

Watercolour illustrations use warm hues and fine detail to create a medieval world, rich with humour. One spread shows Normous’s “BIG” army, feet green with fungus, spear shafts toppled by termites, the cannon ruined by rust. In another, the captured little king consults with mice, bats and beetles to spread the word of resistance. The following image shows lute strings snapping, a door sticking, a cart crashing: “Ticks and tocks left their clocks. Boats listed. Words twisted.”

In the end, the little king is allowed to return home to his peaceful garden, while King Normous: “Ah, well … he never thought about little things in the same way again.”

Endpapers offer a seek-and-find activity of little things to be found throughout the story’s images. (An answer key is hidden under the jacket flap.)

  •  

    Make predictions about the story based on the title, cover art and synopsis on the back cover. Reflect on and revise your predictions as you read.

  •  

    As you read, list the synonyms for big and small. Discuss how you use the context to infer the meaning of some of the new words.

  •  Use a graphic organizer or labeled drawings to compare the two kings.
  •  With a partner, search for the items that are hidden in the illustrations throughout the book. They are listed on the front and back endpapers.
  •  

    What does it mean to be an “underdog”? Compare this story about an underdog to other stories with a similar message (e.g. The Tortoise and the Hare).

  •  

    Make predictions about the story based on the title, cover art and synopsis on the back cover. Reflect on and revise your predictions as you read.

  •  

    Explore the pictures and words on the endpapers. What are these objects? What are they used for? Who uses them?

  •  

    On a picture walk, find the objects from the endpapers. During the read-aloud, compare the picture story to the text story.

  •  In small groups, use a graphic organizer or labeled drawing to compare the two kings in the story. Use words from the text to describe each one.
  • Citizenship and Community Life