School Library Journal (August 1, 2011)
Gr 1-3-King Hugo is a mini monarch (he's three foot three) who thinks very highly of himself. He makes his subjects bow to him as he extols his magnificence throughout the kingdom. One day his royal coach careens by a woman working along the road and sends her into a ditch. She just happens to be a sorceress and casts a spell on him. Each time he begins to brag, his head grows a tad bigger. When he topples from the top of the castle and rolls like a boulder into the valley, he once again meets the sorceress, who reveals her curse. To prove she is the creator of his misfortune, she allows all the haughty things he has said to explode from his head. Returning to his original appearance, he realizes what a fool he had been and humbly apologizes. "What happened next was kismet/yet truly unforeseen:/he became a better man,/and she became a queen!" This enchanting story in verse will appeal to readers who can laugh at the foolhardy king while enjoying his bizarre transformation. Children will revel at the fanciful illustrations and celebrate when the braggart receives his comeuppance. The gouache illustrations demand attention and are rich in comedic detail with a fairy-tale quality. This is a great group read-aloud that offers opportunity for reflection and discussion.-Diane Antezzo, Ridgefield Library, CT (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.