Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Royal Treasure Measure by Trudy Harris - ESSENTIAL

Harris, Trudy The Royal Treasure Measure, 29 pgs.Millbrook Press, 2012. $16.95 Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: G. PICTURE BOOK.  

This rhyming story about measure displays a kingdom where the “rule” of measure fluctuates. No tradesman, from tailors to architects, in the kingdom could get their craft just right.  Things never fit the way they had hoped. So, as in most fairy tales, the king announces a contest to find a buried crown 10 +3 from a tree, with the princess and the kingdom as the prize.  A man named Arzo has no tools to use to measure, but as he is pondering the problem, he looks at his feet and realizes he can use them to measure. His steps bring him to the princess, who he falls madly in love with and she him. Arzo won the prize.  Thus, the princess used the size of the new king’s foot to make a ruler. 

The information page at the end of the book gives the history behind the measure we now call the “foot”.   This delightful story uses humor and history to teach the value of a standard measure and the history behind it.  The illustrations are colorfully adorable. I love the play on words such as “ruler” and “foot”. My favorite quip at the beginning was “I’m sure I told him to make that door fourteen sausages high”. I was surprised that the measurement of the “foot” was not established internationally until 1959. 


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