BASE, Graeme The Last King of Angkor Wat Viking, 2014 unpaged $26.99 ISBN 9780670077151 SCIS 1675807
This book opens with Tiger, Gibbon, Water Buffalo and Gecko sitting in the ruins of Angkor Wat. They wonder which of them would have made the best king and they name the quality that would make them the best ruler. A mysterious Elephant issues them a challenge to go to the temple at the top of the hill. Along the way each character encounters a problem and in true fable genre, the Elephant reveals at the end how they each failed.
Base’s illustrations of the temples and the lush forest enhance and enrich the story and there are his usual hidden clues to search for. There are hints of elephants everywhere when you look and there is a butterfly on each page, an observer of the action. At the end of the book there is information about Angkor Wat and mention of The Elephant Terrace. There are several layers to this book, making it accessible for any age. Teaching Notes are available on the Penguin website.
reviewed by Julie Long