The King’s Ship


Once, long ago, there was a king. His kingdom was rich, his palace beautiful and his army big and powerful. There was just one thing the king did not have. A ship. But the king didn’t want just any old ship. He wanted to build a bigger ship, more powerful and full of beautiful treasures than any ship that had ever been built

This is a wonderfully funny cautionary tale about the perils of vanity and greed.  It packs a very funny final twist and the gags are both visual and textual.  A great picture book from multi-award-winning Italian picture book maker Valerio Vidali.

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The King’s Ship

Valerio Vidali


The tale of The King’s Ship takes its inspiration from the true story of a 17th century Swedish warship, built in honour of the Swedish king’s greatness when the country was at war with Poland.
Long ago a rich and powerful king had everything he wanted, other than one thing – a great and glorious ship. All the carpenters and builders in the kingdom are summoned and ordered to build the ship for the king. They set to work felling trees but when the king sees what they have constructed he declares it too small.  So the workers are ordered to build a bigger ship. This time the completed ship is big enough for the King but something is lacking. He instructs cannons to be installed, but then he wants things of beauty aboard and so marble statues are installed.
Of course, the King is now very happy with his big, terrifying, beautiful ship. Now he commands his subjects to come and admire the ship when it is launched.  The ship is undoubtedly magnificent, but something goes seriously wrong…
This cautionary tale is laced with tongue-in-cheek playfulness and mischief, both verbal and visual.  The straightforward telling of the tale with a hilarious final twist, makes for a winning combination.
Bookwagon is pleased to also stock Valerio Vidali’s Once Upon a Rhythm.


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