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Creator of the bestselling Elmer and Not Now Bernard, David McKee has come up with a thought-provoking story about being happy with your lot. Denver is very rich and very philanthropic. He is kind and generous to the villagers and everyone loves him for it. But money is not really important to him. He just wants to paint. When a stranger tells the villagers that Denver has too much and they should have more, everything changes – but not for the better. David McKee uses different perspectives in brilliantly imaginative ways to tell this moving and entertaining story.
Denver is rich - very, very rich. Everyone in the village loves him for his kindness and generosity. But one day a stranger arrives, who breeds discontent by telling the villagers it isn't fair for Denver to have so much more than they do. When Denver hears what has happened, he divides his money equally between everyone. He moves to a new village, where he lives happily and is better appreciated, but for the old villagers life just is not the same without him.
Review of ‘Denver’ by Books for Keeps [3 stars]
The stars given above are, in this instance, for the illustrations, which are superb as one would expect from McKee. Full of his expressive people (and animals) with lots of flat colour and interesting perspectives, they are jolly and wonderful. However, this reviewer found some problems with the parable in the text. Denver is ‘very, very rich’, and he uses his riches to make the village people happy. He hires them to work in his big house, he gives out school prizes, and at Christmas he plays Santa. Everyone loves him. But one day a worm enters this paradise in the form of a stranger dressed in black. He sows discontent amongst the villagers: ‘Why should Denver have so much money and you so little?’ he asks. When Denver hears the village gossip, he generously sells up all he has and parcels it out amongst his neighbours. He goes off to paint – his favourite pastime, and in the process becomes prosperous again. His old friends, the villagers, meanwhile spend their money and become discontented once more. Being content with what one has is a good thing, but in this story the ‘content’ seems to be of the ‘rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate’ variety. Is this a tad out-of-date in our world?
|Publication date:||1st April 2010|
|Publisher:||Andersen Press Ltd|
|Suitable for:||3+ readers|
David McKee was born in Devon and studied at Plymouth Art College. In the early part of his career, McKee regularly drew and sold humorous drawings to magazines and newspapers such as The Times Educational Supplement, Punch and the Reader’s Digest. David McKee has written and illustrated over 50 picture books for Andersen Press and has penned a number of children’s classics including King Rollo, Mr Benn, Not Now Bernard and Elmer the Patchwork Elephant. David loves to paint and now lives in the South of France but regularly visits the UK. One of the ...More About David McKee