king & king
by linda de haan
& stern nijland
this is the story of a prince whose mother wants him to get married. the only problem is, he’s just not that interested in princesses.
when he finally agrees to marry, they send out a proclamation, and princesses come from far and wide. but the poor prince doesn’t feel a single stirring in his royal heart, until princess madeleine arrives… with her brother prince lee.
the two princes fall instantly in love, marry, and like in all good fairy tales, they live happily ever after.
king & king a cheery book, culminating in a joyful gay wedding. it subverts the expectations of it’s genre, without getting preachy or labouring the point.
interestingly, it features the first ever illustration of a gay kiss in a children’s picture book, so it’s actually pretty groundbreaking.
the illustrations are beautifully creative collages, with wonderful use of colour and texture.

my only reservation about the story is that the prince isn’t very nice to the poor princesses he dismisses. but there’s definitely more to admire and enjoy about this book than there is to criticise.