The Greatest Treasure of Charlemagne the King

Illustrated by Deborah Klein

Scholastic Australia, 1997

The Emperor Charlemagne is rich and powerful, but he is also lonely and bored. So he sends his courtiers out to find him a treasure that will make him happy for the rest of his life.  

The surprising hero of this quest proves to be a monk, who not only teaches the emperor to read but goes on to found a library that rescues Europe from the Dark Ages.

 This imaginative re-telling of history is a fable for our times, which speaks to everyone who values books and reading.


Selected Reviews

The Greatest Treasure of Charlemagne the King is a teacher librarian’s delight because it reinforces the value of books and libraries as repositories of knowledge... For pure enjoyment this is also an engaging tale of an unusual relationship between two very different people.
— Brenda O'Neill, Fiction Focus
I hadn’t realised the extent of the irony and humour of The Greatest Treasure of Charlemagne the King till I read it aloud... and saw the reaction... The illustrations are as witty and humour as the text and surprisingly informative... Definitely a picture book for all ages.
— Book News  
The book is beautifully presented and every teacher should make this a compulsory acquisition. The text has with and meaning and the pictures evoke illuminated manuscripts and stained glass windows.
— Focus Primary Fiction


CBCA Notable Book, 1997