7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #352: Featuring Taro Miura

h1 October 13th, 2013 by jules

“The Tiny King ate alone at a big, big table.
A huge feast of delicious food was laid out every day.
But the Tiny King was just one tiny person.
He could never finish so much food all by himself.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


“Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there was a Tiny King.”

That’s the opening to Taro Miura’s The Tiny King, originally published in Japan in 2010 but released here in the States by Candlewick just last week. This is the story of how one very diminutive ruler lived alone in a huge castle, save his “army of big soldiers with long spears and stern faces.” As you can see above, he eats alone at a big, big table — and, in fact, he does just about everything alone.

Things like giant bathtubs are no fun, if you’re splishing and splashing by yourself (even if there are water fountains). A big white horse might be some company, but not if you’re so tiny that you fall off every time you try to ride it.

You get the idea.

Then one day, the Tiny King meets and falls in love with a big princess, and they are happily married. They are blessed with lots of children. Life is now happy for the king.

The End.

“Now the Tiny King’s castle no longer felt so big.
The children ran around, laughing and playing all day long.”

(Click to enlarge spread)

If you read only a plot summary, this one sounds like a clunker, but it’s not. Miura’s digital—and very geometric—collage illustrations are endearing, and they tell a cheery story of acceptance. The book is strikingly designed, its story simple and illustrations bold and bright.

Here’s the thoroughly delightful cover. (Yes, that is the actual size of the Tiny King!) …

THE TINY KING. Copyright © 2010 by Taro Miura. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

* * * * * * *

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) The opportunity and good fortune to have a short vacation.

2) The stars at the shore on a cloudless night.

2½) Hammocks.

3) The Southern Festival of Books is this weekend in Nashville. I’ve gone to see what sessions I could, and I had the pleasure of introducing Philip and Erin Stead at their Saturday session. Their session was one of those that made me want to stand up and say, Now, THIS is why I studied children’s literature, because they talked about the unique art form that is the picture book.

4) I really enjoyed Rita Williams-Garcia’s P.S. Be Eleven (as well as One Crazy Summer, which I’d never read back in 2010), and I just started Holly Goldberg Sloan’s Counting by 7s, which I’m enjoying thus far.

5) Nice words from some authors who have read galleys of our book.

6) You know you wanna do it. (Buttercup Sparkle Mane at your service.)

7) Last, but far from least, my youngest daughter (pictured below) turns 8 years old this week. (If she were a unicorn, she’d be Fern Silver Bridle.)

What are YOUR kicks this week?

18 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #352: Featuring Taro Miura”

  1. Poppy Golden Girl reporting from the road.
    I’m in Western Mass. the family. I’m off to the Basketball Hall of Fame soon.
    I love these images. I’ll have to check them out later on a bigger screen.
    Go Sox!

  2. Sparkle Velvet Mane here today…oh The Tiny King…I love your geometric shape.
    Jules, happy bday to youngest… Your girls are so close in age to my grand girls. Thank you for beginning Sunday with fun.
    My Kicks:
    1. Family Library Night….25+ families showed up for bingo and books.
    2. New weekly post on Check It Out blog: Five Star Things About This Week. Inspired by here and Sharpread blog.
    3. Helping fifth graders with book check out. One realized how behind she is in reading because she’s never really finished a book.
    4. Time with teacher librarian colleagues on Friday for in-service day.
    5. Interview with Kelly Fineman and sharing her poetry on my blog.
    6. Time with college friends in wine country yesterday for one of friend’s birthday.
    7 my husband who,served as chauffeur for our wine tasting trip.
    Have a great week.

  3. Moira, I’m sorry, but your Unicorn Name WINS. … Have fun today!

    Jone: Ooh, kick #2! I’ll go check it out (how did you like how I worded that there?) …. I have a second grader (the one pictured above), who has a bad habit of not finishing her novels sometimes, too. … Thanks for reminding me about Kelly’s interview at your site. I want to read that.

  4. Thank you for featuring the unique illustrations of Taro Miura. You never fail to peak my interest in new artwork.

    I sure wish I could have listened to your introduction and the presentation of the Steads. What a magical weekend this Festival has been for everyone there. Your daughter is beautiful, Jules. I hope she has a Happy Birthday.

    Have fun on your adventures, Moira.

    Hooray for a successful Family Library Night, Jone. Heading over to check out your Five Star Things.
    My kicks:
    1. Reading and reviewing amazing books
    2. Xena’s blood work coming up negative; great news
    3. Starting Flora & Ulysses; the illuminated adventures
    4. New picture books
    5. Crunching through fallen leaves
    6. Beautiful colors on trees
    7. Walking with Xena

    Wishing everyone the best week.

  5. Good morning, Imps!

    Happy (almost) birthday, little unicorn!

    Jules: I hope she has a fantastic day.

    My unicorn name = Rainbow Pony: She is very lucky and always succeeds. She is rainbow-coloured and bright, and she brings the sunshine and chases away clouds.

    Moira: Poppy Golden Girl is a fantastic name. Work it. Have fun!

    Jone: Have fun with the friends, poets, and librarians. Sparkle on!

    Margie: Yay! Give Xena a hug from me.

    Hello, Taio and the Tiny King!

    My kicks for the past week:
    1. Filmed
    2. Selected! One of my original 10-minute plays is getting a staged reading tomorrow. I’m more than a little excited.
    3. Rehearsed. Another of my plays is having its world premiere production this weekend. Working as writer, director, and actress.
    4. Wrote
    5. Spoke
    6. Auditioned
    7. Made the effort

  6. OH, look at your gorgeous girl! And those sand towers looked perfect. I wanted to get to Nashville so badly this weekend, but it just wasn’t meant to be!

    Jone, I love your #3! Hopefully it was an epiphany for her!!

    My Kicks:
    1) My unicorn name is Lily Sweet Mane and since Lily is my sweet girl’s name that’s pretty much a kick right there!!
    2) It’s my birthday 🙂
    3) I have a perfect grade in one of my grad classes so far.
    4) Reading middle-grade books for the VSBA Committee that I’m on. My favorite so far? Lions of Little Rock
    5) Brian Floca’s transcontinental railroad book FINALLY coming out! (You tease me with your ARCs, Julie :))
    6) Gearing up for a visit next weekend with awesome college friends and anESPN college gameday football game.
    7) The opportunity to take my kids on Friday to the SC state fair, where their dad proposed to me 22 years ago this month!

  7. Margie: Congrats on the bloodwork!! Great news! And I love fall too 🙂

    Willow: Congrats on the reading! So very exciting!

  8. Margie, Happy dance for Xena.
    LW, Congrats on being selected.
    Shannon, happy birthday.

  9. Congratulations on the play getting a staged reading, Little Willow.

    Happy Birthday, Shannon.

    Thanks Shannon and Jone for the well wishes for Xena.

  10. Happy birthday, Shannon!

    Thanks, Imps. 🙂 World premiere!

  11. Margie, that’s great news about Xena!

    Little Willow, you’re such a Rainbow Pony. And CONGRATS on the staged reading! That’s very exciting. And break a leg with the world premiere! I can’t stop using exclamation marks!

    Happy birthday again, Shannon, and have a great time next weekend.

  12. And thanks, all, for my youngest’s birthday wishes.

  13. Jules: “You’re such a rainbow pony” is the best thing that’s been said to me today.

    Meanwhile, I’m watching my alter ego Tinker Bell on Once Upon a Time.


  14. Geesh! My son is 8-years-old, and I feel like the girls in his class have just leapt ahead and become much more sophisticated looking than the boys.

    My kicks:
    1) I’m here.
    2) Inspiration gleaned from graduate school. (I’m in over my head and am still feeling inspired.)
    3) One-on-one time with my son.
    4) Grandparents.
    5) ALSC opportunities.
    6) Cybils fun.
    7) No more bronchitis…finally.

  15. Happy birthday to your beautiful youngest, Jules!
    So glad you got a trip to the beach. I hope it was full of sun and that wonderful recharging energy everyone needs from time to time. Congrats on the good feedback too!

    Poppy Lovely Horse here.

    Moira, love your Poppy Golden Girl name. I can only hope my name starting with Poppy means we’re in the same unicorn tribe.

    Jone, Sparkle Velvet Mane is awfully pretty too. Wine tasting, yum.

    Margie – congrats on Zena’s bloodwork!

    LW – congrats on your play getting selected, and on filming! Keep us posted…

    Shannon, Happy Birthday!!!

    Amy, hooray for no more bronchitis, and hooray for being inspired.

    My quick late kicks:
    1) Finished up a whirlwind summer of seemingly nonstop work, and now I get a break. Hooray for breaks!
    2) Headed to Savannah for work and pleasure this week.
    3) Feeling inspired and recharged by newer, younger co-workers.
    4) Crossing off items on to-do lists.
    5) Caving in and letting Cole sleep on the bed on chilly nights.
    6) Fun nights out with friends.
    7)A memorial service that felt so incredibly southern with all the light-hearted, funny stories that were shared. Always a sad occasion, but made easier to bear when full of laughter and love.
    7.5) Heading south and a break from work, what more could a girl ask for?

    Have a lovely fall week everyone! Hope its full of fun and happiness!

  16. Amy, glad you’re feeling better and that grad school is making you feel inspired, not insane.

    Have fun in Savannah, Rachel! Sounds like you deserve a break. Safe travels to you.

  17. It’s funny – we’re used to your eldest daughter being your mini-me, but this is the first time I’ve looked at your baby girl and said, “Yep, that’s another Jules right there.” While they have that “cute” thing that all little kids have, there’s also a burgeoning true beauty going on that takes all those elements that we call cute, and gives us a preview of what maturity is going to bring them. These girls are serious lookers! ☺

    And, boy, that beach vacay sounds like it was LOVELY. Yay for you.

  18. Oh, thanks, Tanita! And, yes, the beach was lovely.

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