Kid Lit Love: The Paper Kingdom

I am thrilled to be returning to my Kid Lit Love series featuring picture books from members of the Kid Lit Community! Today’s book is titled THE PAPER KINGDOM by Helen Ku Rhee, illustrated by Pascal Campion, published by Penguin Random House.

Take a look at this gorgeous cover art!

The Paper Kingdom


Based on the author’s childhood, “The Paper Kingdom” is about little Daniel who goes to work with his parents to their job as night janitors, where he expects dreariness but finds magic and wonder, thanks to the power of imagination.

Helena Ku Rhee, Author

I asked Helena a few questions about her new book and writing for children in general. It was a pleasure to connect with her.

1. Tell us how you came to write books for children. I think I’ve always loved picture books for the synergy between the words and illustrations. In fact, I won my first story contest in the third grade, and pencil drawings accompanied that story — so I think I was training to be a picture book author at a very young age!

2. Tell us about the inspiration for your book. I was driving through Los Angeles one evening when something about the empty, quiet street triggered childhood memories. The Paper Kingdom is based on my childhood when my parents worked as night janitors. They couldn’t afford childcare, so they often had to take me to work. And to keep me entertained, they made up funny stories. They did their best to turn drudgery into magic, and I wanted to capture that sense of wonder in the story.

3. Share your advice for children’s writers. Read what’s out in the marketplace. It’s great to be familiar with the classics, but it’s just as important to read new output from current writers. Also, keep in mind that the illustrations will help illuminate the story, so no need to go into lengthy descriptions. Also, I truly value the process of putting away my draft for a few weeks, and then evaluating it with fresh eyes. That’s probably one of the best tools for making your book as clean and as lean as possible, because that distance helps you quickly spot the slow parts or the unnecessary passages or even characters.

Thank you Helena Ku Rhee for being a guest on Kid Lit Love!


Twitter handle: @HelenaRhee

Look for more Kid Lit Love posts on Mondays! Want to have your book featured? Send an email request to

Sign up for my newsletter and learn about release dates, pre-orders and free offers.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. You are welcome here any time!

Sidney, B.C. Two Hundred Boxes!

About 5 years ago, when I first began working at Sidney Preschool, I introduced a new and special day to our program. I called it our Cardboard Box Extravaganza! We had our parents collect and bring in boxes and the children were give some simple materials to work with as well as an opportunity to use their creativity to go wherever their imaginations may take them with the collection of boxes. This was a huge hit! And each year proved to be a little different as new children and parents brought their own unique ideas to the event.

Small boxes can be great for creative minds as well.

And that is why it does my heart such good to see this event taking place in Sidney. Two Hundred Boxes is an event for the whole family and takes place February 16th from 10 am to 4 pm at the ArtSea Gallery in Tulista Park. I have no idea how this event came to be but what a wonderful opportunity for family and community engagement. Castles, towers, tunnels, neighbourhoods, forts, planes or trains could all be part of your experience as you work with the boxes. This event is totally free of charge. Kudos to the Community Arts Council for organizing!

And because I am a huge supporter of children’s literature, let me add a couple of great picture books that encourage creativity with cardboard boxes. Not a Box by Antoinette Portis and What To Do With a Box by Jane Yolen. Do you know some other great books on the same subject? Have you and your children created something amazing and wonderful with a cardboard box? Share in the comments.

Sign up for my newsletter and learn about release dates, pre-orders and free offers.

Thank you for stopping by my blog! You are welcome any time.