“Naturally, the King never wore his stilts during business hours.”
– The King’s Stilts, opening lines.
When I picked up the Silverstein book, I had to check some of my other fave children’s authors as well to see what other classics I might be missing from appreciation, and I discovered what appeared to be a gem of a book, all beaten up and torn, in the shelves of Seuss. Sometimes I like the less-appreciated pieces from geniuses of certain fields in addition to the mass hits, just like how I love both I’m Looking Through You and Let It Be equally.
Title: The King’s Stilts
Author: Dr. Seuss
Genre: Children’s books
Erin’s teaser synopsis: There was a king. He had stilts.
Why I relate to it: Okay, let’s be real. From the very first line, I was like, “I get you, bro, I get you. No stilts during business hours, I can respect that.” I may not get up at five like my man Bitram, but I, too, often look forward to the moment when my work is done and I can (metaphorically) don my stilts without a care in the world. Also, he has a daily bath. Legit.
Judgement call: Despite the fact that this book was about a seemingly normal human king who made up very few words and was quite different from the type of rhyming story that most of us come to expect from the great doctor, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Honestly, the lesson that it gives us is much more important for adults than children, but at least there’s a valuable lesson, no matter who the prime audience is! I think that far too many of the books we read to kids now are meant for entertainment and too few are meant to teach lessons. Storytelling is the best way to teach someone anything! So yes, I loved this classic story with a lesson made almost just for me, and even in almost-monochrome, the illustrations are gorgeous.
This old guy was originally published in 1939, and hasn’t gotten a lot of publicity lately, so your best bet might be to snag him on Amazon.