King Flashypants, also known as King Edwin of Edwinland, is a nine-year-old monarch with an over-fondness for eating chocolate and wearing his kingly crown in all situations. King Edwin’s idea of keeping his subjects happy is to feed them free chocolate every Friday, and not mind too much if they take Mondays off. Everyone is happy until, one day, disaster strikes – there is no money left in the Great Piggy Bank of Edwinland! One King’s disaster is another’s opportunity, so the Evil Emperor of the adjoining land of Nurbisonia prepares to invade… Can Edwin save his Kingdom?
The writing style is clear and direct, with short sentences, and the text is large and well-spaced. There is some stylised text for comic effect, but this does not interfere with the overall easy readability. The drawings form a substantial element of the book, keeping the narrative moving and highlighting the comic elements of the story. The overall design of the book is strong, with enjoyable added elements, like a map of the kingdoms and a portrait gallery of main characters.
King Flashypants is the first book in a début series by BAFTA-winning comic writer Andy Riley, who co-wrote the script for David Walliams’s Gangsta Granny. Riley has achieved an original comic story, written in a fast, funny, modern style, which also incorporates elements from traditional stories, like The Emperor’s New Clothes. I would also suggest the story could be read as wry commentary on the current state of world diplomacy! Highly recommended for 6 – 9 year olds.