Cover image for King Long Shanks
King Long Shanks
Yolen, Jane.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt Brace, [1998]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 25 cm
Although he hates their poor poetry, a frog king agrees to let two flattering scoundrels create an outfit for him that will show off his fine, long, strong legs and test the loyalty of his subjects.
General Note:
Retelling of: The emperor's new clothes.
Reading Level:
480 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.2 0.5 25873.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.8 2 Quiz: 22725 Guided reading level: N.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ8.Y78 KI 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



In this uproarious froggy version of the popular fairy tale, King Long Shanks is swindled by two shrewd tailors--they convince him their magic cloth is visible only to honest and loyal subjects. Taken in by the tailors' trickery, King Long Shanks marches proudly in a parade wearing nothing but his bare green skin! It takes a young tadpole with a mind of his own to utter the truth that everyone else is afraid to speak.

Author Notes

Jane Yolen was born February 11, 1939 in New York City. She received a bachelor's degree from Smith College in 1960 and a master's degree in education from the University of Massachusetts in 1976. After college, she became an editor in New York City and wrote during her lunch break. She sold her first children's book, Pirates in Petticoats, at the age of 22. Since then, she has written over 300 books for children, young adults, and adults.

Her other works include the Emperor and the Kite, Owl Moon, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? and The Devil's Arithmetic. She has won numerous awards including the Kerlan Award, the Regina Medal, the Keene State Children's Literature Award, the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, two Christopher Medals, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards, the Golden Kite Award, the Jewish Book Award, the World Fantasy Association's Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Association of Jewish Libraries Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4-9. Making the characters frogs, not humans, in this picture-book version of Andersen's The Emperor's New Clothes, Yolen and Chess tell a very funny fable about vanity and self-delusion. And even the heaviest censor couldn't object to a story about nudity--in a frog. Yolen tells it with just the right silly tone for reading aloud as the pompous king succumbs to flattery and believes he is wearing a smart new outfit in the parade. No one dares tell him the truth, that he is wearing nothing, for fear of being thought "a ninny, a nonny, a numbskull, or a nincompoop. And disloyal besides." Finally one innocent little tad dares say it aloud: "King Long Shanks is bare!" Chess' garish pictures in watercolor, pencil, and ink capture the sly ridicule of the puffed-up bullfrog and his sycophantic followers. And Yolen adds a touching surprise to the old story: after all the king's bullying about forced loyalty, the crowd finally hoots with laughter at him, but his loyal wife tears a piece off her beautiful gown to cover him up. (Reviewed April 1, 1998)0152000135Hazel Rochman

Publisher's Weekly Review

This amphibian Emperor's New Clothes is "likely to please," said PW. Ages 5-8. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4Ä"King Long Shanks had very good legs and was a nice shade of green. Everyone said so. So it had to be true." Two visiting tailors, whispering to the king in poetry that "bumped in the wrong places and pretended to mean much more than it did," offer to make him an outfit from a mysterious, expensive, invisible magic cloth that would show off his great legs. The ensemble is completed, just in time for the Summer Parade. Of course, only those who are "true/and good/and honest/and smart/and loyal" can see this new finery. Yolen's version of "The Emperor's New Clothes" is both fresh and entertaining, especially when read aloud. The bright cartoon illustrations in watercolors, colored pencils, and pen and ink feature a large cast of costumed frogs. Their spotted green skins are echoed in the border surrounding each page of text and prominently featured on the book's cover. Filled with lots of sly expressions, the artwork suits the text perfectly. This delightful variation of a favorite fairy tale will charm audiences. In the words of the tailors, "Toadally majestic" and "Ribeting."ÄSusan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.