The apple king ISBN: 9780735813977
Published by North-South, 2001
While younger children can enjoy this purely as a fairy tale, it will take an older one to understand the moral nuances. A king has a very special apple tree. It is beautifully tended, and no one is allowed so much as to touch the apples except the king. When the royal gardener finds a worm, the king is furious. Then it is found that all the apples have worms. The king tries bribery (he promises the worms gold), he tries magic, he mobilises the army, but nothing works. The worms finally tell him they were invited to come by the apple tree because it was sad and lonely. The king understands, becomes generous with the apples and holds an Apple Festival. The illustrations are outstanding, full of muted greens and grays and ochres; the kings subjects are animals, and he is a pig - no doubt to indicate his greedy nature. A superb parable.