|Published:||1938 by Random House, inc.|
|Characters:||King Birtram, Eric the Pageboy, Lord Droon,|
|Setting:||Kingdom of Binn|
The King's Stilts is Dr. Seuss's third book, published in 1938. It is the first to feature species of his own design, namely Nizzards and dike trees. Like its predecessor, this book is written in prose, as opposed to the trademark Seuss poetry style.It covers ideas of hard work and diligence, teamwork, and dedication.
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The King, on his stilts:
|“||Out came the stilts, up leapt the King. High in the air, his royal robes streaming, he'd race through the marble halls, out across the terrace, up and down the garden stairs.||”|
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The story of King Birtram of Binn, who dedicates himself to safeguarding his kingdom, which lives a precarious existence. It is low-lying land surrounded by high water, which is held back from flooding the land, by a ring of dike trees. Unfortunately, the dike trees are the favorite food of a species of pest-birds called nizzards; the kingdom always faces the risk that the nizzards might compromise the dike-tree barrier and cause catastrophic flooding. To protect the kingdom, the King's administration maintains a legion of Patrol Cats to keep the nizzards at bay; King Birtram sees to their care personally.
When not attending to his royal duties, the King enjoys himself by frolicking in the streets on his personal red stilts, which his minister Lord Droon considers undignified behavior. Droon persuades the King's page boy Eric to steal and hide the stilts. Deprived of his amusement, the King grows depressed and begins to neglect his duties. As a result, the Patrol Cats become less vigilant, and soon the nizzards make headway in eating away the dike trees.
Seeing the results of his actions, Eric resolves to return the stilts to the King and succeeds in doing so despite Lord Droon's efforts to stop him. King Birtram, his personal morale restored, finds the necessary energy to mobilize the Patrol Cats to fight off the nizzards and save the kingdom. Lord Droon is punished with imprisonment and a restricted diet consisting entirely of nizzard (cooked in various ways). Eric is rewarded with his own pair of red stilts, and goes with the King on his outings.
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