For Christmas, I got the kids several Dr. Seuss books. One of them was The King's Stilts. We have read it several times now, and it's a really great one!
The Story: The King of Binn works very very hard. He is up at 5 in the morning, working. He works all day, to keep the kingdom safe from the threat of the horrible Nizzard birds that peck at the Dike trees that protect the kingdom from being flooded. But when his work is done for the day, the King loves to roam about on his beloved stilts. All of the people in the kingdom find the King's stilting hobby endearing and love him all the more for it. All of the people, of course, except for the sour Lord Droon. He thinks that the stilts are far too much fun, and might cause troublesome smiling. So, he decides to steal the stilts and orders the King's paige boy, Eric, to bury them. Eric doesn't want to do it, because he knows how much the king loves his stilts, but he is forced to obey. Without his stilts, the King becomes despondent. He can't bring himself to do his work with the same enthusiasm as he had before, without his stilts to look forward to. The Kingdom is in terrible trouble, without the King working to fend off the Nizzards, and Eric decides to defy Droon and return the stilts to the King. With his stilts back, the King regains his vigor, the Kingdom is saved, and Droon is duly punished.
The Good: It's a prose-style Seuss, which I like quite a lot. The message is clear - All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and King Birtram a poor king. The illustrations are, of course, wonderful. Eric is akin to Bartholomew in his rank and determination to save the kingdom he loves. The kids have asked me to read this book three nights in a row.
The Bad: I can't think of much bad about it, unless you don't like prose-style Seuss...
The Verdict: A wonderful addition to any Dr. Seuss library. It's not a very well known one, but it's worth owning. I've already gotten the kids to do their chores with a little less argument, reminding them that they can play when they are done working. That's always a good thing.