Books like King Hugo’s Huge Ego by Chris Van Dusen are great read aloud stories that help teach lessons of character. Melissa Young from Sweet on Books explains why:
What You Need to Know:
• King Hugo’s Huge Ego is a clever, very humorous story.
• Author and illustrator, Chris Van Dusen, has used a funny, laugh-out loud story to impart the most subtle message of ego and arrogance that the smallest child will recognize.
• The language is lyrical, rhyming and an example of the best type of story we have to offer our children. Van Dusen has treated his young reader with exceptional respect by not “dumbing down” his choice of vocabulary.
• King Hugo’s Huge Ego would make for a rollicking read aloud.
King Hugo is one tiny monarch with a very large Napoleon complex. Hugo rules the land with an iron fist and a rather bloated sense of self; his ego is head and shoulders above his three foot three stature.
“Yes, Hugo was a cocky king – as boastful as could be. To him, no other person was as wonderful as he.”
King Hugo makes sure his subjects bow to him whenever he passes (wouldn’t want them to be taller!), and they are treated every Friday morning to his “Speech of Adoration”. What’s the subject of that adoration? You guessed it; it’s Hugo!
One day, while riding in his coach, he encounters a peasant who will not get out of his way or bow to him, so Hugo has his coachman bump her right off the road (nice guy!). What he didn’t know was that the peasant, Tessa, was a sorceress. Tessa proceeds to put a spell on Hugo that makes his head grow larger every time he boasts about himself (kind of like what happens to Pinocchio’s nose when he tells a lie), until it is hilariously large. Finally, it just becomes too big to be supported by his tiny, little body! Hugo returns to Tessa, who explains her spell and why she did it. King Hugo sees the errors of his ways and ends up Tessa’s husband and becomes a much kinder, humbler king. All’s well that ends well.
Van Dusen’s story is a witty, tongue-in-cheek, merry tale. Children will delight in this simply told story with hilarious illustrations and funny, rhyming language. It amazes me that Van Dusen can write such a charming book with wonderful, poetic language and make it seem so easy. Even the youngest children will “get” the message here. It is clear but subtle – the best way to learn!
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