Cover image for The emperor's old clothes
The emperor's old clothes
Lasky, Kathryn.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt Brace, [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
A continuation of "The Emperor's New Clothes" in which a simple farmer finds the emperor's old clothes on his way home from the market and decides to put them on.
Reading Level:
AD 580 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.4 0.5 32268.

Reading Counts RC K-2 5.2 2 Quiz: 21965 Guided reading level: P.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Here is the untold story of Henry, a simple farmer who stumbles upon some extraordinary finery and a whole new attitude. Who would have guessed that a change of attire would bring out his truly regal nature? Yet Henry's transformation may cause trouble in the barnyard. . . . Kathryn Lasky and David Catrow weave a new wrinkle into an old tale--with royally hilarious results!

Author Notes

Kathryn Lasky was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on June 24, 1944, and knew she wanted to be a writer from the time she was ten. She majored in English in college and after graduation wrote for various magazines and taught. Her first book, I Have Four Names for My Grandfather, was published while she was teaching.

She has written more than seventy books for children and young adults on everything from historical fiction to picture books and nonfiction books including the Dear America books and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series. Many of her books are illustrated with photographs by her husband, Christopher Knight. She has received many awards for her titles including Sugaring Time which was a Newberry Honor Book; The Night Journey which won the National Jewish Book Award for Children; Pageant which was an ALA Notable Children's book; and Beyond the Burning Time which was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. She has also received the Washington Post's Children's Book Guild Award for her contribution to children's nonfiction. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. Henry lives a bucolic, happy life on his farm with his beloved animals. While making his way home from the crowded marketplace on the emperor's birthday, he finds a fine silk stocking by the side of the road. He can't resist trying it on. Nor can he resist the curling, feathered shoes or the peach pantaloons he finds. Soon he is arrayed in finery fit for an emperor. After returning to town and seeing the emperor's "new clothes," he goes home in disgust, only to discover that his own new clothes look just as silly to the farm animals. Lasky's use of language adds richness and detail to the funny story, and Catrow's exuberant, bright watercolors are filled with sparkling comedic touches. Henry's proud expression and the faces of the laughing animals are particularly delightful. Of course, a book based on a traditional story is always the most fun when children know the original, so pair this with the classic version and use it with older story hour groups or with primary grades. --Susan Dove Lempke

Publisher's Weekly Review

For graduates of "The Emperor's New Clothes," this genial spin on the classic story takes the perspective of a simple farmer, who dons the regal clothing that fell off the emperor's wagon. After the farmer tries on the royal garb, he takes a quick trip to town, scoffs at the naked, strutting emperor and returns home, where his fancy clothes not only impede his chores but make him the laughing stock of the barnyard. Lasky (previously paired with Catrow for She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!) spins a good yarn and portrays the farmer's newfound vanity with gentle humor: "How grand he felt, and how much better the view was from his new height. My animals back at the farm will hardly recognize me, Henry thought." Catrow's caricatured watercolor illustrations exploit the contrast between the ornate finery and the distorted form of the farmer (his ears stick out at a 90-degree angle and his rear end is bulbous). With broad humor, author and artist make a strong case for the simple life. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-Henry is a simple farmer, content with his life among his farm animals. One day, on his way back from market, he is nearly run over by the emperor's carriage as it races by, leaving behind some strange items that turn out to be silk stockings. As Henry continues home, he discovers pieces of an elegant ensemble of clothing, which he can't resist trying on. Feeling grand, he decides to stop by the emperor's parade to see the ruler's much-vaunted new outfit, which, of course, turns out to be no outfit at all. Henry continues home where he finds that his new clothes are wholly unsuited to farm work, dresses in his old garb, and settles blissfully into his quiet life. Much of the tale is taken up with Henry's discovery of the articles of clothing and how foreign they seem to him. It is an amusing story well told, although it helps if children are familiar with the original tale. Catrow's loopy, lush watercolors capture the silly mood perfectly, and readers will marvel at how the bucolic Henry is transformed into an elegant gentleman of the court and back again. A good pick for any library.-Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.