Review Detail

Kids Fiction 121
Working Together (and Alone!)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
'The Cook and the King' by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by David Roberts, is a cute story that shows how working together, and sometimes working alone with someone by your side, can lead to success. When the King hires Wobbly Bob to be his new cook, he gets more than he bargained for. Wobbly Bob tells the King from the moment he is hired that he is a “bit of a wimp” but would love the job. The King, eager to have someone fill the position, takes Bob on, but soon he finds himself catching the fish, chopping potatoes, frying everything up, and more. Wobbly Bob is too scared to do any of these things. The King, though, takes on the challenge, encouraging Wobbly Bob to let him help. In the end, the final product is made by the King, but he is shown to have enjoyed the process of working with Bob to do the work and make the food, priding Bob (and himself, by extension) on a job well done.

Also author of 'The Gruffalo,' Julia Donaldson has a knack for fitting words together and working with her illustrators to make the images spring to life. This book does well with that, and it captures a lot of themes, from kindness and growth to teamwork and independence. Donaldson also uses a nice amount of rhyming and repetition to make the book accessible to young readers.
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