This graphically cheerful, quietly amusing Japanese import is a celebration of family life in the key of C major.
—The Horn Book (starred review)
Working in digital collage, Miura combines flat blocky shapes, intricate cutouts, photographs, and other bits of iconographic paraphernalia in bright colors, establishing a cohesive and arresting style that references everything from Matisse to Madison Avenue. … The simple, old-fashioned quality of the story and the modern drama of the illustrations combine to create an especially dynamic and resonant literary experience, simultaneously innovative and nostalgic, sure to charm legions of tiny listeners.
—Booklist (starred review)
Miura’s exquisite design and strong graphic illustrations, consisting of simple cut-out shapes in vibrant colors and collages using images drawn from eclectic sources, often on matte black paper to enhance the effect, will appeal to very young children.
The simplicity of Miura’s story, originally published in Japan, is matched by the blocks-and-toys feeling of the pages, an assembly of cheerful geometric shapes. The lesson that companions are better than possessions is conveyed with bubbly exuberance.
The pacing and spare text create a gentle tone, making this an ideal story to share at bedtime. … An engaging read-aloud, the narrative is also well suited for newly independent readers. The story offers a delightful glimpse into castle life, with its strength revealed in the king’s realization of wholeness through familial love.
—School Library Journal