The King’s Taster
Kenneth Oppel
HarperCollins (2009)
ISBN 9780060753726
Reviewed by Brooke James (age 5) and Mom for Reader Views (4/09)

 

“The King’s Taster” by Kenneth Oppel is about a dog named Max.  He isn’t just any dog; he is the king’s taster.  He gets to taste all the food that his owner, the king’s cook, makes for the king to make sure it isn’t poisoned.  One day, they got a brand new king who happens to be a young boy.  The cook made a feast, but the king would not eat it.  So, Max and the cook travel around the world looking for new recipes (pizza, French fries, tacos).  Max thought all the new recipes were delicious, but the king would not eat any of them.  The king wanted to chop off the king’s head.  Max did not understand why the king wouldn’t eat any of the cook’s food!  Will Max discover why the king doesn’t eat his dinner?  Read “The King’s Taster” to find out the interesting ending to this story.

Mom says, “Tell me about the book.”

Brooke says, “I liked the book because I love dogs.  I thought the king was a bad little boy.”

Mom says, “Did you like anything else?”

Brooke says, “I really liked the pictures.”

Mom says, “What was your favorite part?”

Brooke says, “I loved it when the cook got his own restaurant.”

Mom says, “Did the book teach you anything?”

Brooke says, “Don’t eat too much junk because you will get too full on junk and not eat your dinner!”

Parent’s comments:
I knew Brooke would love this book because she loves animals (especially dogs).  She was pretty amused by the king when he would say his food was bad without even tasting it.  When we both realized why he was doing this, it was a big “aha” moment!

I just love books with teaching opportunities in them!  We talked about how badly the king was behaving.  We also talked about eating too much junk food.  This was great because Brooke has a tendency to eat too much candy.  So, this was a wonderful opportunity in a very entertaining way to teach her about the problems with filling her tummy with junk!

Overall, “The King’s Taster” by Kenneth Oppel was very entertaining and educational.  Even if parents don’t use it as a lesson, kids will still love this book.

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