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Also illustrated by Alison Jay:

The Cloud Spinner
The Emperor's New Clothes
by Marcus Sedgwick, illustrated by Alison Jay
ages 4-8 32 pages Chronicle Books August 2004 Hardcover    

Chronicle Books is an imprint much admired for its quality presentations and illustrations, and The Emperor's New Clothes is no exception, the artwork beautifully detailed and imaginative.

With an animated twist on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, this book reveals a lesson in vanity and pride when an Emperor orders a new set of clothes from a pair of tailors, who, "for a bit more gold," will cast a spell that will make his clothes invisible to "all who dull or foolish be." Naturally, the Emperor is delighted to pay extra for such cleverness. Of course, it is the Emperor who is deceived, prancing about his kingdom in nothing at all.

The whimsical illustrations add personality to this rogue's gallery of weasels and servants, a variety of elegant tortoises and hares. The pages are tinted in an old world gold, lending a medieval patina that assumes all the splendor of any self-respecting fairy tale. All the characters are costumed in royal gowns, except, of course, the Emperor, who wanders about with nothing on: "As the procession set out, everyone stared and gawked, too frightened to say what they really thought." It is left to a cheeky frog to declare "The Emperor's wearing nothing at all!"

This delightful tale will engage any child with it's much-loved parable, combined with the distinctive crackle-glaze art style of illustrator Alison Jay, a truly enchanting book.

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  Luan Gaines/2005 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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