cover image Good Night, Good Knight

Good Night, Good Knight

Shelley Moore Thomas. Dutton Books, $14.99 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-525-46326-9

In this magical bedtime tale set in a dense forest in a faraway kingdom, three wide-eyed little dragons are lonely--but not for long. Thomas (Somewhere Today) introduces a Good Knight who nightly keeps watch from a ""crumbly tumbly tower"" atop a ""very tall wall."" One night when he hears a loud roar, he hops on his horse and gallops (""Clippety-clop. Clippety-clop"") to the roar's source at the mouth of a cave. There a little dragon clad in tartan pajamas asks for a drink of water. The chivalrous hero grants this request and on subsequent return trips (with a charming refrain) reads a story to a second dragon and sings a song to a third. Not surprisingly, the knight finds this routine a bit trying and his asides (""I don't believe this""; ""This is too much"") will sound familiar to youngsters and especially their parents. Many will be able to guess the wee dragons' final demand. In one of Plecas's (Rattlebone Rock) many droll images, the three dragons with their eyes shut and lips puckered lift ""their scaly little cheeks"" for a goodnight kiss. Copious artwork, controlled vocabulary, effective repetition, brief sentences and a chapter-book trim size make this a comfortable fit for children just beginning to read solo. A fine way to bid good night. Ages 4-7. (Jan.)