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*****= An all-time favorite
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***The King and the Castle


by Peter O. Kruckmann

illustrations by Annette Roeder

translated by Rosie Jackson

Reviewed April 20, 2004.
Prestel Verlag, Munich, 2001.  29 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (J 725.17 KRU).

I like the text of this book even better than the adult book, Neuschwanstein, that I’m reviewing in the same issue of Sonderbooks, although the photographs are not as stunning.  Since this is a children’s book, it tells the story of King Ludwig of Bavaria in clear, straightforward language.  I didn’t know that Ludwig was fascinated with buildings and castles even as a small child.  He had a set of blocks and built a model of a famous arch in Munich.

The book goes on to tell of Ludwig’s early ascent to the throne and his fascination with fairy tales.  It shows early sketches of the plans for Neuschwanstein, and then explains some of the difficulties of the building process.  Then it shows the different rooms of the castle, with sketches and photographs, and tells about the wonderful setting.  It ends by touching on Ludwig’s mysterious death.

If Neuschwanstein is the perfect souvenir book for adults, The King and the Castle, is ideal for kids.  This would be a great book for children (and adults) to read before visiting Neuschwanstein, so they know what to expect and can look for some of the fairy tale themes. 

Copyright © 2004 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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