By Jeanette Winterson, The King of Capri was one of my favorite picture books years ago and it remains that way today. You’ll read about a king ruling over the island of Capri, and his change from being a selfish man to a kindhearted one. When a tempest blows everything from Capri to the impoverished coast of Naples and a poor washerwoman’s backyard, the woman, Mrs. Jewel, becomes a Queen and the King a poor man. He has no clothes but a dressing gown and his socks, and no food but what he can catch from the sea and what he can grow in the garden. I loved this book because it was just so…wonderful. But not in a boring way. I felt hungry at the beginning when the King was at a feast, and sad when I read about Mrs. Jewel and her poor hungry cat, and pleased when everything turned out okay. Any good book should make you feel that way. You’ll love the beautiful illustrations by Jane Ray, and you’ll want to read it again and again. I know I did. So go and find The King of Capri at your nearest bookstore.
This is the first book in the series The Books of Bayern. Yes, this is a short fairy tale, but author Shannon Hale has twisted it into a chapter book that tells the story of Crown Princess Anidori. This poor girl is betrayed by her Lady-in-Waiting on the way to get married and become the Queen of the fictional kingdom of Bayern. I enjoyed this book because I love fantasy, and it had all the qualities a good fantasy book has to have: a dastardly villain, a courageous heroine (or hero), magic, sword fights, as well as a bit of romance. The incredible danger and incredible characters will draw you in. Believe me, don’t overlook this book next time you’re at the library or bookstore!