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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
The King Has Goat Ears
by Katarina Jovanovic
Age Range: Under_5
King Boyan has a secret. No one except the barbers, who cut his hair know what it is, but they cannot tell anyone because such is the King’s fear that his secret might get out, they are kept prisoner in the palace once they have cut the royal locks.
One day, a young apprentice called Igor bravely accepts the challenge to cut the King’s hair. Because Igor is able to win King Boyan’s confidence he is allowed to return home. Igor is very careful not to tell anyone the King’s secret but unbeknown to him, the secret has a way of getting out!
This is a retelling of an ancient Serbian folktale by Katarina Jovanovic, (originally from Belgrade, now residing in Canada). A simple story about an insecure and self-conscious King who isn’t happy with the way he looks, but gradually comes to accept himself becoming comfortable in his own skin. The story is enhanced by the striking illustrations by Philippe Béha, (originally from France, now living in Canada), with their colourful mixed-media of watercolour, collage and photographic elements.