Chris Gurney
The Mayor's Flash New Clothes

"You'll end up the flashest Mayor ever,
but here comes the real nifty part:
it cannot be seen by the foolish
it can only be seen by the smart!"

The Mayor of Waikikamukau shows everyone just how smart he is in this funny Kiwi take on The Emperor's New Clothes.

The Story Behind the Book

To rewrite the story of 'The Emperor's New Clothes' with a Kiwi twist, the Emperor became a Mayor and his constituency had to be the infamous 'Waikikamukau'.

This was one Kiwi Corker story I had the 'Kiwi Slang' dictionary out for, with words being used like 'hang of a flash', 'bloke', 'crooks', 'dodgy scam', 'good as gold', 'what a cracker', 'drongo'. And weaving in other kiwi icons, like 'chins of merinos', 'bundles of flax', 'kakapo feathers', 'a dash of kiwifruit juice', plus a hankie and a rugby scarf.

This is a story with a great moral about vanity, peer pressure, and honesty, among other things. Check out the 'Questions for discussion' sheet.

But of course, the real moral ends the story –

And NEVER forget to put on your clothes, if you're going to LEAD A PARADE!

Waikikamukau - Is there such a place?

Waikikamukau, (pronounced as if saying "Why kick a moo-cow"), is an imaginary small rural town or locality in New Zealand. New Zealanders use the word for "any town" or to denote a particularly remote rural town. It has a similar connotation as the term Wop-wops, or Timbuktu for other English speakers.

The name is a joking reference to the frequency of New Zealand place names starting with "Wai" (Maori for water), and used in the names of many rivers and nearby towns).

The Mayor's Flash New Clothes - Page 2-3
The Mayor's Flash New Clothes - Page 4-5


I was lucky enough to win this book from the amazing peeps here at KIWIreviews so thought it was only fair we review it. My son loves it and I am a huge fan too, Gone are the days where you get tired of reading boring old one liner books. This is quirky, quick witted and entertaining for the whole family!! I especially love the little rhyming words! Definitely buying a few more in the Kiwi Corker series!... read more

Like the Emporer and his robe, the mayor's vanity gets the better of him. The two clothing designers pretend to make him a costume - to make him the flashest Mayor ever. Instead they pretend to sew and stitch fabric made from nothing. To allay anyone's doubts the conniving designers tell the Mayor that it cannot be seen by the foolish. Of course, everyone thinks they must be stupid if they cannot see it - it takes a child in the crowd to say how it really is... read more


Word search (level one).

Word search (level two).

Questions for discussion.

Make a Wanted Poster for both of the crooks in this story.

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The Mayor's Flash New Clothes
The Mayor's Flash New Clothes
Illustrated by Christine Ross
Publisher Scholastic New Zealand, 2010
ISBN Hardback 9781869439415
Age 4-7
Year Level Foundation, Year 1, Year 2
RRP Hardback $18.99
Where to buy this book from The Nile

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