TKT – Booklist (starred review)

Max loves his job as the cook's dog and the king's taster, making sure the food isn't poisoned. He enthuses, My name's Max and I eat like a king. However, when the new king (a young boy) refuses to eat the food, Max and the cook go in search of kitchens in Paris , Italy , and Mexico for tasty new recipes: but french fries, pizza, and chili tacos are all rejected. Off with his head! orders the king. Unable to sleep that night, Max follows a shadow scuttling out of the kitchen; he wakes the cook and they peek through the keyhole. There is His Highness sitting in bed eating candy liquorices, ginger cookies, and huge hunks of marzipan! When cook threatens to tell his mother, the king relents, tastes the food, and, at last, eats everything on the plate. Mixed-media illustrations are deliciously capricious with clever collage details for example, the cook's jacket is constructed of photographed fabric with handwritten recipes all over it, and the beagle, Max, for some goofy reason, wears glasses. Kids will relish this comic culinary calamity, especially the peek-a-boo sight of the king in his accidentally revealing pjs. A crackerjack treat.

– Booklist (starred review)

pb+jThe Kings Taster