Cover image for The paper kingdom
Title:
The paper kingdom
ISBN:
9780525644613

9780525644620
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm.
Added Author:
Summary:
Accompanying his parents to their night-shift jobs as office cleaners, young Daniel reluctantly joins in as they use their imaginations to transform the deserted building into a magnificent paper kingdom where he might one day rule.
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Summary

Summary

An office at night is reimagined as a fantastical kingdom of paper complete with friendly dragons in this own voices picture book.

When the babysitter is unable to come, Daniel is woken out of bed and joins his parents as they head downtown for their jobs as nighttime office cleaners. But the story is about more than brooms, mops, and vacuums. Mama and Papa turn the deserted office building into a magnificent kingdom filled with paper. Then they weave a fantasy of dragons and kings to further engage their reluctant companion--and even encourage him to one day be the king of a paper kingdom.

The Paper Kingdom expresses the joy and spirit of a loving family who turn a routine and ordinary experience into something much grander. Magical art by Pascal Campion shows both the real world and the fantasy through the eyes of the young narrator.


Author Notes

Helena Ku Rhee grew up in Los Angeles, but has also lived in various parts of the U.S., Asia and Europe. She has a soft spot for small, stout animals and loves to travel far and wide across this beautiful planet, counting among her favorite journeys a camping trip in the Sahara Desert, a swim with elephants in Thailand and a horseback-riding tour of Easter Island. Helena works at a movie studio by day, and dreams up story ideas in her spare time. She currently lives in Los Angeles. Visit her at helenakrhee.com/books or follow her on Twitter at Helenarhee

Pascal Campion is a prolific French-American illustrator and visual development artist whose clients include: DreamWorks Animation, Paramount Pictures, Disney Feature, Disney Toons, Cartoon Network, Hulu, and PBS. Working in the animation industry for over 15 years, he has steadily posted over 3,000 images of personal work to his "Sketches of the Day" project since 2005.

He lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Follow him on Instagram (@pascalcampionart) or Twitter @pascalcampion


Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1--3--When his babysitter calls in sick, young Daniel is taken by his parents to their job cleaning an office after hours. The empty building initially scares and confuses Daniel. He doesn't understand why his mother and father have to clean it. They explain that the office is home to the Paper King and a bunch of dragons who leave trash everywhere. Although his parents insist that the dragons don't mean to be messy, Daniel is incensed by the injustice. But he is soothed when his parents tell him that one day, he can be king and tell the dragons to be less messy. Campion's illustrations are gentle and colorful. He conveys the family's economic status on the first page when we see Daniel sleeping in the same room as the stove and dining table. The perspective of some scenes is off; however, there are also subtle details like the characters' reflections in the shiny, freshly mopped floors. The text is mostly composed of Daniel's questions and his parents' explanatory dialogue, but it also alludes to how hard their work is. They sweat, sneeze, cough, and rub their necks as they clean the office board room. VERDICT Inspired by the author's own life, this is an uplifting story of a family working hard to make things better for the next generation.--Chance Lee Joyner, Wilton Public and Gregg Free Library, NH


Publisher's Weekly Review

"Mama and Papa were night janitors," writes Rhee (The Turtle Ship), who bases this story on her own experiences growing up. "When they got ready for work, Daniel got ready for sleep" across the cozy room from where his mother is cooking. But tonight, the person who usually watches Daniel can't come, and Daniel's parents have asked the upstairs neighbors for "too many favors." The child must leave his bed and accompany them. The security guard looks the other way, and Daniel's parents get to work cleaning a corporate office, telling their son it's "The Paper Kingdom" ruled by two monarchs and inhabited by dragons. Dad makes jokes and Mama says of the dragons, "They don't mean to be naughty," while gentle digital images by Campion (Good Morning, City) depict a bright, fluorescent-lit space. But the kingdom is a mess: the board room is littered with papers, the kitchen is a "disaster," and the work is obviously grueling. "It made Daniel feel hurt inside" to watch his parents labor in the middle of the night, and he rails about the unfairness of their having to clean up after others. Rhee ends on an upbeat note (maybe one day Daniel will be king, and "tell the dragons to be nice and neat"), and her story offers both a meaningful portrayal of one working-class experience and an image of a loving, hardworking family. Age 3--7. Author's agent: Bill Contardi, Brandt & Hochman Literary. Illustrator's agent: Justin Rucker, Shannon Assoc. (Feb.)


Horn Book Review

Daniel usually stays home and sleeps when his parents go to work as night janitors for a corporation, but when one evening his babysitter cant come, he must go to work with them. They try to keep sleepy Daniel entertained by telling him that the office is a Paper Kingdom: the conference room is a throne room; the bosses are a king and queen who send paper to everyone in the kingdom and preside over the dragons, who are small and friendly but very messy. Daniels parents hope he will someday become a king who will tell the dragons to be nice and neat. The boy rapidly intuits the power imbalances and questions why some people make messes that others must clean. Campions colorful, impressionistic illustrations, awash with warmth and light, show paper drifts, messy kitchens, and dragons hiding behind bathroom stalls. Subtle facial expressions convey the family members closeness (and, via the sweat on Moms brow, their hard work), while creative use of shadow and perspective captures the largeness of the space and the intimacy of imaginary play between parents and child. As his mom and dad busily clean their way through the office spaces, Daniels wide-eyed, feet-planted observation invites readers to likewise contemplate the hierarchies and invisible labor of spaces they inhabit. Julie Hakim Azzam March/April 2020 p.70(c) Copyright 2020. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

Daniel accompanies his parents to their job late one night and discovers a magical kingdom.Daniel's parents are night janitors and get ready for work just as Daniel gets ready for bed. Usually Auntie Clara babysits him, but one night when she cannot, Daniel must go with his parents to their job. Though the story takes place in the middle of the night, full-page illustrations brimming with color and depth bring the story to life. Unsurprisingly, Daniel is sleepy and on the verge of tears, but he must stay awake as his parents mop floors, vacuum, dust shelves, and clean the bathrooms. Despite his tiredness, Daniel can't help but question why everything is a mess and why his parents must be the ones to clean up everything. It angers him to see his parents working so hard to clean up other people's messes, but his parents reassure him with stories of the Paper Kingdom and well-meaning dragons. Lushly respectful illustrations perfectly complement this simple yet heartwarming story that highlights the struggles of working-class parents and the sacrifices they make for their families. Daniel's parents sometimes appear multiple times on a spread, emphasizing their busyness. This diverse story features a family of color depicted with brown skin and black hair.A beautiful, must-read tribute to hardworking families and the magic they create. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.