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Winner of the Oxfordshire Book Awards Best Picture Book 2019







32 pages

Pub Date

Feb 4, 2021



Age 4+

The King With Dirty Feet

By Sally Pomme-Clayton
Illustrated by Rhiannon Sanderson

A delightful and funny tale from India tells how a very important invention came about: shoes!

There once was a king who hated bath time so much that he never washed. He was a very smelly king!

The king is finally persuaded to bathe in the river but no matter how clean the rest of him is, his feet stay dirty.

The people sweep away all the dirt in the land – but the air is choked with dust. The dust gets washed away but now the land is flooded with water. An enormous tapestry is sewn to cover the whole kingdom but now nothing will grow on the land... What is to be done?

At last one old man steps forward with leather and a pair of scissors ... and to the king's amazement he creates – the first ever pair of shoes!


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"This delightful picture book, beautifully told for reading aloud and engagingly illustrated, tells the comic and suspenseful story of the invention of shoes, for an Indian king who has trouble keeping his feet clean."

Nicolette Jones - Sunday Times

King with Dirty Feet Activity Sheet


Click image to download resource

Sally Pomme Clayton


Sally Pomme Clayton is a co-founder of The Company of Storytellers, and has been at the forefront of the revival of live storytelling for children.

Rhiannon Sanderson


Rhiannon Sanderson was brought up in Anglesey, Wales. After graduating from Hereford College of Arts with a degree in illustration, she is now completing an MA at the University of Gloucestershire. Rhiannon's illustrations are created with a range of digital material. The King with Dirty Feet is Rhiannon's first published book. She lives in Gloucestershire.


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