Title: His Royal Tinyness: A Terrible True Story
Author: Sally Lloyd-Jones
Illustrator: David Roberts
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s picture book
Description: Once upon a time there was a Happy Family. Then, one horrible, NO GOOD day, a new ruler was born…BEHOLD – His Royal Highness King Baby!
My Review: This is a funny book with a great message and is perfect for any kids with younger siblings who may sometimes feel jealous of the attention they’re getting. ‘His Royal Tinyness: A Terrible True Story’ is about A4 in height although wider than a typical A4 piece of paper. The hardback book comes with a sleeve which has some lovely bronze shiny outlines on the cover. Inside the book is filled with thick matt pages with lots of colourful illustrations and text.
The story is a simple one and is told by the little girl in the book. She starts by telling us how there was once a happy family with a mom, dad, a gerbil and her, a wonderful and perfect princess (her). But then a new ruler, King Baby(her baby brother) was born which meant that the princess was no longer cared for by her parents and left to fend for herself in the world. The story is actually very funny and is entirely from the perspective of the little girl who doesn’t like her new baby brother or the way her parents now look after him so much and seem to not care about her at all. She has to cook for herself, and generally take care of herself all alone while her parents are busy with the baby. However the story isn’t quite as true as it first appears and the illustrations show exactly how ‘true’ the little girl’s story is.
The pictures in this book are very funny. I love the way that they show so much detail about what’s really going on, such as all the heavy shopping that the poor princess has to carry (which is actually just one aubergine in a basket while dad carries bags of shopping!). Although most of the pictures are what is actually happening in the family, some pages show the girl’s own drawings and how she perceives how things are. I really like the style of pictures, there’s something about the way the characters look that I just enjoy and I like the hidden extras in each picture, not only of what is really happening with the girl but all the little extra things in the pictures to spot including the gerbil.
Some reviewers haven’t enjoyed this book much, stating that some children wouldn’t enjoy it, but I really have and can see kids enjoying this too although they might need an adult to sit down with them and point out all the little things in the pictures and show kids that the princess isn’t as poor and alone as she thinks. The whole story is about the girl’s imagination, the fact that she says right at the start that she has long flowing hair, when in fact she is wearing yellow tights on her head, shows how the whole story is just a bit of make believe. The ending is funny and has a wonderful message of getting along with younger siblings. I won’t give away the ending but it shows that all is well and kids shouldn’t fear or get upset about having younger brothers or sisters (particularly baby ones) as there’s plenty of good things including the bonus on the last page!
Overall I really liked this book and think it would be great fun for any kids to read. Whether kids ‘get it’ probably depends on how involved an adult is in reading the story with the kids, showing all the fun extras, as well as how creative and imaginative the kids are. I certainly would have enjoyed and understood this book, even as an only child, as I have always been very imaginative and could relate to the girl and her imaginative story telling.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.
What do you think about this fun way to tackle the subjects of baby brothers and sisters? Would you enjoy reading a book like this? Please let me know your thoughts I’d love to hear from you 🙂 You can also follow me in these places: