The Invisible Kingdom is a beautiful new book by Rob Ryan, papercutting artist extraordinaire. It features beautiful illustrations and an enchanting story about a young prince. The book is a very picture heavy book, but that doesn’t mean it’s a kiddie book. Oh no, this is one for all those who love a good story, gorgeous illustrations and absorbing oneself into the land of the imagination.
It’s hard to review a book without giving the story away too much. But briefly, the story is about a young prince living in large, daunting palace. His parents were often busy being the King and Queen and the prince was trapped by his destiny. The Bootman was the only person to treat him like a normal child, knowing that everyone needs something to call their own. So the Bootman gives the young prince a pen with invisible ink and a special torch so that he could create and find a world of his own.
The book is about finding oneself. It’s about finding your own path and surviving on your own.
I love that the story takes a traditional theme such as a prince living in a castle but moves the location to the city. It kind of creates this fantastical world that is actually quite relevant and recognisable.
The quality of the book is excellent. I have the hard copy with a sleeve jacket that opens out into a gorgeous poster. It is the kind of book you would want to cherish for a long time to come. The kind of book that would only work in hard copy. It really would make a wonderful gift too. If you’re looking for something a little bit different to buy for someone who loves books and beautiful illustrations, this is great choice.
I hear that this is the first book in a trilogy so I’m very excited to hear what the young prince gets up to next.
Rob Ryan chats about the book in this short video. “It’s from kids from age 8 to 80.” I think he captures the charm of his book much better than I can describe here.