Book: The King of Keji Author: Jan L. Coates Illustrator: Patsy MacKinnon Publisher: Nimbus Publishing Ltd. Date: September 1, 2015 Genre: children's picture book; age 5 - 8; K - 3 Pages: 32 Price: $12.95 My rating: lovely story of discovering treasures hidden in plain sight
The King of Keji by Jan L. Coates is another book I purchased at the children’s book fair in 2016. Personal note: When Nova Scotia’s Kejimkujik National Park was in its early development stage my dad was one of the skilled workers on site making that happen. I was a young girl then and one weekend my mother, sister, and I went along and stayed overnight with Dad in one of the cabins a short but safe distance from the construction.
In The King of Keji we meet Jacob, a young boy who is tired of being second to his older brother. His brother is always king of the castle which makes Jacob the dirty rascal – a nursery rhyme game – so his grandfather teaches Jacob about being a king in nature. Gramps takes Jacob to Kejimkujik National Part for a weekend of camping, hiking, and searching for hidden treasure. Hidden treasure is different from buried treasure, so Jacob learns to look for the things hidden in plain sight, things he would otherwise easily overlook.
They discuss what treasures a king would have and thought of a sceptre, antiques, turquoise, diamonds, jade, emeralds, and several more. Jacob finds a long piece of driftwood that works well as a sceptre and they set out. While hiking, Gramps takes pictures of the things they find. Some of the treasures were the emerald-green leaves of an ancient hemlock tree, the diamond sparkle of the lake, the jade colour of frogs sitting on moss-covered rocks, and the gold and ruby colours of the sunset that night. Jacob feels like a king with all that treasure – even though they took nothing away with them except pictures – and learns how to be more observant and respectful of his surroundings.
The King of Keji is a story very well told, full of description and the allurement of a nature hike in one of Nova Scotia’s beautiful provincial parks. The illustrations by Patsy MacKinnon are full of nature’s colours. The reader gets to appreciate the variety found in Keji park from the huge trees along the hiking trails, to the animals that live there and in the salt marsh, to the glorious sky as the sun is setting.
The King of Keji by Jan L. Coates encourages readers to be more aware of what’s around them in nature, and to appreciate the treasures already provided for us.
You can find The King of Keji by Jan L. Coates on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and sometimes Chapters.Indigo.
Thank you for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂