King of the Skies


32 pages
ISBN 0-439-98725-3
DDC jC813'.54





Illustrations by Laura Fernandez and Rick Jacobson

Valentina Cesaratto is a high-school teacher specializing in dramatic
arts and film studies.


Each February in Lahore, Pakistan, boys participate from their rooftops
in “kite fighting” on the morning of Basunt. The boy in King of the
Skies names his kite Guddi Chore (or Kite Thief). His sister helps him
to get his kite into the air and then she and his younger brother help
him to retrieve the “downed” kites. On this day, the boy is a
winner; he has the secret to being a good kite thief—“His kite is
small but it is built for speed.” Having the secret and having
practised his skills all year, he captures many kites. Even the bully
next door, who uses two big kites, finds out that neither his skill nor
his big kites are any match for Guddi Chore.

Khan has created an inspiring story out of a South Asian tradition. Her
words and Fernandez and Jacobson’s colorful illustrations work well
together to give the reader a full sense of the excitement, skills,
noises, and emotions present in the competition. In this story,
smartness, not size, makes the winner. Highly recommended.


Khan, Rukhsana., “King of the Skies,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 25, 2024,