Catalina and the King’s Wall

Written by Patty Costello
Category: · Children’s Books

When Catalina overhears the king planning to build a wall, she fears her family won’t ever be able to visit. Catalina tricks the king into building walls that droop, drip, swirl, and swoosh away. But now the king demands an impenetrable wall. Luckily, Catalina has the perfect ingredients to bake up a family reunion!

Idaho author Patty Costello shares this beautiful and timely story to initiate conversations with kids about issues of inclusivity and compassion.

“When a foolish king decides to build a wall to keep people from a neighboring kingdom away, his royal baker dreams up a delicious solution. Catalina is a lighthearted parody full of colorful confections. Innovative artwork in a riot of watercolor shades depicts the crafty baker as she whips up gobs of dough, gallons of icing, and miles of rainbow sprinkles, outsmarting the king just in time for a visit from her family one kingdom over.” –Foreword Reviews, May-June 2018
In a not so faraway kingdom, not so long ago … Catalina overheard the king say, I do not like the people in the nearby kingdom. They are different. I must build a wall to keep them out! Oh no, Catalina said …. I have got to do something! And so begins the story of Catalina s clever plotting (and the king s own undoing) to prevent him from building a wall that would separate Catalina from her family who lives in the nearby kingdom. Does the king s rant and Catalina s worry sound all too familiar? It should. The story s premise parallels political rhetoric and anxieties in the U.S. today. Though Catalina and the King s Wall draws from current politics, the story transcends time and place. It is an excellent tale that can spark important conversations and lessons of several virtues (and vices) common across eras, location, and cultures. Catalina illustrates the virtues of love, hard work, perseverance, and resourcefulness, while the king displays the vices of bias, self-indulgence, and hot-temperedness. And as all good stories of prosocial lessons portray, the virtuous flourish in the end, while those with vices suffer the consequences of their thoughtless, selfish failings. Catalina is a talented baker in the story, so in the spirit of this theme, the book s illustrations are the icing on the cake. The pictures on each page are as colorful as the characters personalities are, with very little white space existing in the pen and watercolor illustrations. The thoughtfulness of details in the setting on each page (e.g., the ornate frame of the king s mirror) is incredibly eye-catching. Best of all, Catalina s baked goods made from her love and hard work are beautifully depicted on each and every page. I highly recommend this book for all progressive parents.” –by Tonia Bock, PhD in Developmental and Educational Psychology Professor of Psychology, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN

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