The King Who Banned the Dark

My first picture book, The King Who Banned the Dark, was published by Pavilion Children’s in October 2018. It has been shortlisted for nine awards including the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, Klaus Flugge Prize, Little Rebels Award, Independent Book Week Book Award, and has been nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal.

Cover for The King Who Banned the Dark

There was once a little boy who was afraid of the dark. There’s nothing unusual about that. Most children are afraid of the dark at one time of another. But this little boy was a Prince, and he decided that when he became King, he would do something about the dark. He would ban it.

When the King bans the dark completely, installing an artificial sun, and enforcing anti-dark laws, it seems like a good idea. The citizens don’t need to worry about any of the scary things that might live in the dark. But what happens when nobody can sleep, and the citizens revolt? Will the King face his fears and turn the lights off?

`A witty picture-book with a lot of contemporary relevance, which skewers government propaganda and the misuse of power.’ – Little Rebels Children’s Book Award

`An engaging read for young readers …The predominantly yellow, black and white colour palette is perfect for spotlighting the messages of the story, whether literal or figurative, and given the depth of the story, one that spans many age groups.’ – The Bottom Shelf

`An up-to-the-minute picture book that deals with an age-old fear in a very modern way.’ – Minerva Reads

`This is sophisticated and compelling storytelling about the machinations of politics and manipulating the populace … The illustrations provide a feast for the eyes complementing the story with comical and delightful touches.’ – Armadillo Magazine

‘A beautifully illustrated fable for our times.’ – Daily Express

‘A truly delightful new picture book talent brings us a sweet fairy tale, in charming, retro black-and-yellow drawings…’ — Nicolette Jones – Sunday Times

‘Talented writer-illustrator Emily Haworth-Booth uses just three colours to paint this powerful picture of fear and hope, and the moral of the story will stay with you long after the lights get switched back on.’ — Nancy Groves – HuffPost UK

`A thought-provoking picture book … Haworth-Booth’s pencil-shaded artwork is pleasing, while her text warns gently but firmly against responding too readily to fear.’ — Imogen Russell Williams – The Guardian

`It’s not often that you get a children’s picture book that perfectly sums up prevailing social and political attitudes, how power works to corrupt, and how easy it is to get worked up over nothing. This is a brilliant book, which does not need to be read as political satire.’ – Early Years Educator Magazine

‘A clever and beautiful story.’ – Parents in Touch

‘This book works on two levels: first of all, as a great story, and secondly, as an interesting modern fable.’ – Juno Magazine

‘This debut is wonderfully political & thought-provoking…A brilliant story of the abuse of power & the strength of protest. Perfect for schools.’ – Rhino Reads

‘A modern fairy-tale, akin to The Emperor’s New Clothes, told with sophistication and paired with extraordinary beautiful illustrations in monotones, juxtaposed with vibrant yellow.’ – Space on the Bookshelf

‘Definitely a book ‘de nos jours!’ — Ann Lazim – Centre for Literacy in Primary Education

‘A timeless tale of courage, consequences and unexpected wonder with quirky, lively illustrations.’ – INIS 2018-19 Reading Guide

`A truly fresh and formidable debut by Emily Haworth-Booth. This is an outstanding first offering from the multi-faceted author/illustrator, undoubtedly a new name to keep an eye on.’ – Picture Books Blogger

‘This is a gorgeous picture book and its only possible downside is that your kids, like mine, might start banning things willy-nilly.’ — Robyn Wilder – The Pool

‘A charming modern fable.’ – Absolutely Mama

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