King Bartholomew and the Jester’s Riddle by Pina Mastromonaco is a wonderful, fun book with a humor level perfect for children aged four to eight. Entertaining riddles entice readers to try to guess the answer while enjoying the tale.
Childlike King Bartholomew is obsessed with toys and solving riddles. The chubby, balding King learns to balance play and work time so that he can take responsible care of his land and citizens, yet still enjoy a playful life. The moral-of-the-story is not laid on thick – it is lightly applied so it will be easily accepted by young children. Teachers, librarians and caretakers will enjoy reading this pleasant book to children who like to play rather than accomplish chores or school assignments.
The illustrator, David Martin, is extremely accomplished and very gifted. Each page is filled with incredible detail that reveals more the longer one gazes at them. Many illustrations some form of nature included from the fantastically sculpted bushes, an array of birds and a maze of hedges with a big ‘B’ in the center (B – for King Bartholomew). Richly colored clothes and hilarious costumes for the jester and the King’s servants prove to add an interesting twist to this fun-loving book."
Author: Pina Mastromonaco
Illustrations: David Martin
Publisher: Merry Lane Press