Nola Langner Malone

Book Review: King of the Playground

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King of the Playground 

by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

illustrated by Nola Langner Malone

Ages 5-7, 32 pages

Realistic Fiction

Kevin loves playing at the playground, but only if Sammy isn’t there. Every day Kevin goes to the playground then Sammy states that he’s the King of the Playground and he controls what Kevin can do. Each time that Sammy puts him down and says he can’t play he tells his father about the problem. Kevin’s father makes him understand that Sammy is basically telling tall tales and he’s not really going to tie him up, dig a hole and bury him, or nail all the windows and doors shut. Finally, Sammy says that he’ll put him in a cage with bears then Kevin lightly responds that he’ll just teach them tricks or make himself slide through the cage. Kevin gives Sammy a friendly challenge to try to dig a tunnel in a sandbox. Sammy doesn’t admit that digging a tunnel isn’t possible, but eventually they work together to build towers in the sandbox.