Friday, May 23, 2014

King for a Day

King for a Day
by Rukhsana Khan; illus. by Christiane Kromer
32 pares; ages 6-10
Lee & Low, 2014

Themes: diversity; family; bullying

"Basant is the most exciting day of the year!" It's a holiday filled with feasts and music and parties celebrating the arrival of spring. And many of those people will climb to the rooftops of Lahore [Pakistan]  to participate in kite-flying battles.

This is the day Malik will fly his kite, Falcon. He will send Falcon into the sky to battle with the kite of the bully next door - the bully who throws stones at his sister and calls names. The bully's kite is huge, but Malik is sure his small, swift Falcon can win the day.

What I like about this book: The artwork is amazing - collages that incorporate lace and fabric and papers. The illustrations draw upon the folk art designs of Pakistan - and the kites are so bright I just want to make one myself. I like the kite battles, and the peek into a traditional celebration that embraces sky and skill.

Beyond the book: It's never too late to make a kite. The bold illustrations may inspire some kite designs - or if not, check out these photos of kites kids made for Basant. You'll find a video of the kite festival here (it's rather long-ish - 8 minutes).

Turn a shopping bag into a kite - just follow these step-by-step directions. Then head out to a park or field and go fly a kite! All you need is a nice day and a bit of a breeze.

 Today's review is part of PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copy provided by publisher.


  1. This is truly a great book. The illustrations alone make me return again and again. I love the paper bag kite - who knew? Thanks.

    1. this one you can make with those ubiquitous plastic shopping bags.... and save the brown paper bags for book covers.

  2. One of my favorite picture books this year. I love Rukhsana's work -- she's such a storyteller. The illustrations are gorgeous!

  3. I want to peek in this book and see those lovely kites. Sounds great!

  4. I love the sound of this one! I'll be checking it out! Thanks!

  5. Ooh, I've reviewed Rukhsana's other books and didn't realize she had another one out. I've reviewed other kite flying books and want to read and compare!

  6. This book looks and sounds wonderful, Sue! I will have to rustle it up immediately! Thanks so much for sharing it and adding it to our list!

  7. Thanks for the review. I have her Red Lollipop book autographed. She's a fantastic storyteller!