The King of Little Things

Bil Lepp’s debut picture book The King of Little Things is a hit!

2014 PEN Award

Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing


Bil Lepp, The King of Little Things (Peachtree Publishers)

The PEN/Steven Kroll Award was established in memory of Steven Kroll to acknowledge the distinct literary contributions of picture book writers. Kroll, a former PEN Trustee and long-time Chair of PEN’s Children’s/Young Adult Book Authors Committee, was also a prolific author of books for children. His 100th and final book was published in March 2012.

The annual award was presented for the first time in 2012 and confers a prize of $5,000. It acknowledges an American or U.S.-based writer for exceptional text illustrated in a picture book. The winner will be chosen by a panel of three judges, who will be selected by PEN’s Children’s/Young Adult Book Authors Committee in consultation with Kroll’s widow, Kathleen Beckett.

2014 Judges

Mac Barnett, Ted Lewin, and Elizabeth Winthrop

From the Judges’ Citation

With sprightly humor and clever wordplay, Bil Lepp tells an engaging tale of a king who affirms the notion of simplicity. Readers will delight in the comic rhymes and inspired vocabulary. A moral is there, but deftly buried in the wild contest between two opposing rulers, one who relies on power and might, while the other turns to things as small as buttons that pop and pants that drop.

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“Adults and children who read this delightful and imaginative book together will find lots to talk about.” — Kirkus Starred Review

Parent’s Choice Gold Award

Irma Black Award Semi-finalist (so far..I’m still in the running)

Only the King of Little Things stands between King Normous and his goal of conquering the world. But little things can make a big difference! A beautifully illustrated children’s book with a lesson for readers of all ages.

“It’s hard to miss the point of this fable about the kindly King of Little Things…  Small, Lepp clearly feels, is beautiful. Yet the story doesn’t pall. Wenzel delivers Mad magazine–style spreads of medieval feasts, battles, capes, and crowns. Brainy wordplay abounds, and a scavenger hunt is included, too. Lepp affirms living simply without sounding smarmy, and Wenzel offers a king whose underpants fall off. What’s not to like?” — Publisher’s Weekly


Kirkus Starred Review

The Wall Street Journal: “Bil Lepp writes with cheery alliteration…No points for guessing which king prevails in this endearing and satisfying picture book for readers ages 5-10.”

School Library Journal: “There are plenty of humorous details… The witty writing enlivens this fable about appreciating the small things in life.”

The Charleston Gazette: Book Review by Sarah Sullivan, award winning children’s book author

The Intelligencer/Wheeling News Register

Publishers Weekly Review



Illustrator: David T. Wenzel


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