The King’s Ship
Vidali’s picturebook teaches a very important lesson: you must learn when to stop.
The king has everything, but he still wants more. He wants the biggest, most beautiful and most terrifying ship of all. The king’s orders are obeyed, but one voice keeps asking ‘isn’t this too much?’ The voice is ignored, the ship is built, but it is too heavy after all. The greedy king is not disappointed. He thinks he still has his beautiful palace, but us readers know that his greed has destroyed his castle.
Played out on a light background, the King’s palace is surrounded by luscious trees, and the grounds are home to some impressive statues. The colours are bright and eye-catching. As the story goes on, the illustrations become less pleasing to look at, as all the trees are cut down so the pages become bare. The use of having the pages become barer as the ship gets bigger and bigger is a really simple yet effective way to demonstrate the damage that is being done by the king’s greed. The language is straightforward without being overly simplistic. It makes for a very pleasant read.
This story is a great one for younger readers as it teaches a valuable lesson in a fun way and it contains a lesson that everyone should remember: greed has a price. A copy of The King’s Ship would be a delightful addition to any bookshelf.