A man went to knock at the king's door and said, Give me a boat. The king's house had many other doors, but this was the door for petitions. Since the king spent all his time sitting at the door for favors (favors being offered to the king, you understand), whenever he heard someone knocking at the door for petitions, he would pretend not to hear . . . Why the petitioner required a boat, where he was bound for, and who volunteered to crew for him, the reader will discover in this delightful fable, a philosophic love story worthy of Swift or Voltaire.
**Mariko's Staff Pick**
Years ago, a friend introduced this book to me as a bedtime story for grown ups, and it's still one of my favorites. It's one of those short and sweet stories that I can read again and again, but Saramago leaves so much to the imagination that I find something new in it every time. The drawings by Peter Sis are magical too--somehow detailed and perfectly vague at the same time.