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The King Who Banned the Dark

Written by Emily Haworth-Booth

Illustrated by Emily Haworth-Booth

Debuts of the Month Fantasy / Magical Featured Books for 3+ readers Featured Books for 5+ readers General Fiction

LoveReading View on The King Who Banned the Dark

An illuminating tale of power, rebellion, darkness and light

June 2019 Debut of the Month | Shortlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize 2019 | Shortlisted for the Waterstone's Childrens Book Prize 2019

Lots of fun to read, this book cleverly delivers some important messages. The new, young king is frightened of the dark, so on day one of his reign, he decides he’ll ban it. His advisors realise the only way to make that work is if the people think it’s their idea, and start an anti-dark campaign. It works, the dark is banished and, because everyone has got what they thought they wanted, everyone is happy. Until of course, they realise what living in constant light is really like. Emily Haworth-Booth gives her story a fairy-tale feel and fills it full of humour. Little children will identify with the king, but they’ll understand why his scheme is not a good one. Brilliant!

Andrea Reece

Other Info

The Klaus Flugge judges said: a great idea and it really makes the most of light and dark; there’s lots of variety in the use of page layout, and lots of surprises; it’s full of energy and humour.

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The King Who Banned the Dark Synopsis

There was once a little boy who was afraid of the dark. There's nothing unusual about that. Most children are afraid of the dark at one time of another. But this little boy was a Prince, and he decided that when he became King, he would do something about the dark. He would ban it. When the King bans the dark completely, installing an artificial sun, and enforcing anti-dark laws, it seems like a good idea. The citizens don't need to worry about any of the scary things that might live in the dark. But what happens when nobody can sleep, and the citizens revolt? Will the King face his fears and turn the lights off?

The King Who Banned the Dark is a beautiful and thought-provoking story about how we need the dark in order to enjoy the light.

The King Who Banned the Dark Press Reviews

`A witty picture-book with a lot of contemporary relevance, which skewers government propaganda and the misuse of power.' - Little Rebels Children's Book Award

`An engaging read for young readers ...The predominantly yellow, black and white colour palette is perfect for spotlighting the messages of the story, whether literal or figurative, and given the depth of the story, one that spans many age groups.' - The Bottom Shelf

`An up-to-the-minute picture book that deals with an age-old fear in a very modern way.' - Minerva Reads

`This is sophisticated and compelling storytelling about the machinations of politics and manipulating the populace ... The illustrations provide a feast for the eyes complementing the story with comical and delightful touches.' - Armadillo Magazine

'A beautifully illustrated fable for our times.' - Daily Express

'A truly delightful new picture book talent brings us a sweet fairy tale, in charming, retro black-and-yellow drawings...' -- Nicolette Jones - Sunday Times

'Talented writer-illustrator Emily Haworth-Booth uses just three colours to paint this powerful picture of fear and hope, and the moral of the story will stay with you long after the lights get switched back on.' -- Nancy Groves - HuffPost UK

`A thought-provoking picture book ... Haworth-Booth's pencil-shaded artwork is pleasing, while her text warns gently but firmly against responding too readily to fear.' -- Imogen Russell Williams - The Guardian

`It's not often that you get a children's picture book that perfectly sums up prevailing social and political attitudes, how power works to corrupt, and how easy it is to get worked up over nothing. This is a brilliant book, which does not need to be read as political satire.' - Early Years Educator Magazine

'A clever and beautiful story.' - Parents in Touch

'This book works on two levels: first of all, as a great story, and secondly, as an interesting modern fable.' - Juno Magazine

'This debut is wonderfully political & thought-provoking...A brilliant story of the abuse of power & the strength of protest. Perfect for schools.' - Rhino Reads

'A modern fairy-tale, akin to The Emperor's New Clothes, told with sophistication and paired with extraordinary beautiful illustrations in monotones, juxtaposed with vibrant yellow.' - Space on the Bookshelf

'Definitely a book 'de nos jours!' -- Ann Lazim - Centre for Literacy in Primary Education

'A timeless tale of courage, consequences and unexpected wonder with quirky, lively illustrations.' - INIS 2018-19 Reading Guide

`A truly fresh and formidable debut by Emily Haworth-Booth. This is an outstanding first offering from the multi-faceted author/illustrator, undoubtedly a new name to keep an eye on.' - Picture Books Blogger

'This is a gorgeous picture book and its only possible downside is that your kids, like mine, might start banning things willy-nilly.' -- Robyn Wilder - The Pool

'A charming modern fable.' - Absolutely Mama

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781843653974
Publication date: 24/09/2018
Publisher: Pavilion Children's Books an imprint of Pavilion Books
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781843653974
Publication date: 24th September 2018
Author: Emily Haworth-Booth
Illustrator: Emily Haworth-Booth
Publisher: Pavilion Children's Books an imprint of Pavilion Books
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 32 pages
Suitable for: 3+ readers, 5+ readers
Genres: Bedtime Reading, Fantasy / Magical, General Fiction
Recommendations: Debuts of the Month

About Emily Haworth-Booth

Emily Haworth-Booth is an award-winning author, illustrator and educator who teaches at the Royal Drawing School in London, England. Alongside her children’s picture books, Emily is currently working on a long-form graphic memoir for adults. Her short comics have previously appeared in print in the Observer and Vogue. Just like the King in her story, she loves dogs, and is still sometimes a little bit afraid of the dark. Her debut picture book, The King Who Banned the Dark, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019. Read a Q&A with the author here. ...

More About Emily Haworth-Booth

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