The Knight Who Took All Day

James Mayhew, Author . Scholastic/Chicken House $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-439-74829-2

Mayhew's (Boy ) frolicking adventure features a self-infatuated knight whose longing to impress a princess sends him scouring the country for a dragon to fight. Visual humor abounds: for example, in a spread that illustrates the knight's incompetence, he rides past a dragon's foot, mistaking it for a tree, peers into a dragon's mouth, thinking it's a cave, and stands on a dragon's nose, believing it's a volcano. The accompanying text concludes, "He could not find a single dragon." Italics, capital letters and bold font highlight particular words, lending a tongue-in-cheek tone to the text, while crayon-and-watercolor illustrations of rolling hills, wispy clouds and slender brown trunks with leafy treetops peppered with red apples playfully evoke children's artwork. The humor heightens when one day a dragon arrives in town, wreaking havoc. The knight, "delighted" that his opportunity for glory has come, sends the squire for his armor, then fusses repeatedly: "It has no plume! Fetch me one immediately. And a cloak to match!" A cutaway spread captures the chaos reigning in the castle: the knight primps, the squire runs up and down stairs, the dragon hovers, breathing fire and meanwhile, the princess calmly takes care of things herself. A not entirely unexpected twist of events provides a fitting conclusion for this jolly fairytale. Ages 3-5. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/17/2005
Release date: 10/01/2005
Genre: Children's
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