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The King Who Banned the Dark ISBN: 9781843653974
Haworth-Booth, Emily
Published by Pavilion Books, 2018
A unique approach, this! First of all, we learn there is a boy who is afraid of the dark, and as he grows up to become a King, he remains fearful. This means he wants to ban the dark, but thinks his people might not like it. Advisors say they must MAKE the people like it, and this they do in subtle ways advertisements, whispering campaigns to say that the dark is ‘scary’ and ‘boring’ and things can get stolen in the night. Soon the people are up in arms about the dark and want it banned. The King says okay, because that’s what he wanted all along. With the dark gone, the King installs a huge sun over the palace, and everything is full of light all the time. The people leave their lights on, and can’t sleep, and soon they are too tired to function and begin to want the dark back - but now there are ‘Light Inspectors’ who come around to check that all the lights are on and a fine must be paid if they are not. A fireworks event is planned to help quell the rebellion, but the people are too clever for this. They hatch a plan, which works a treat, and it is only when the dark returns that even the King can enjoy the fireworks. He learns to sleep with a night light! About time too! Brilliant illustrations, mostly black and white and yellow, which suit admirably the theme of the book, and there is lots of humour too. Children with lots of imagination will enjoy the parable tremendously, and the whole idea makes such good sense that it might well convince nervous types that a night light is a good solution.
Age: 4+