cover image Attack of the Underwear Dragon

Attack of the Underwear Dragon

Scott Rothman, illus. by Pete Oswald. Random House, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-11989-1

Having written a disarmingly complimentary letter that made his favorite knight cry, Cole achieves his goal of becoming assistant to Sir Percival. The sweet spoofery of debut author Rothman’s text matches Oswald’s (Hike) gently irreverent, funnily anachronistic vignettes: the apprentice not only learns knightly lessons, such as how to ride a horse, but also gets punched by a princess sparring partner, waves a big red foam finger during Sir Percival’s battles, and bandages the knight’s extensive “boo-boos” afterwards. The child embraces his responsibilities with tireless enthusiasm, and it pays off big time. When the eponymous villain, rendered in striking textures of blue, gray, and black, lays waste to the kingdom and the knights, Cole draws on his hands-on learning to joust, wrestle, and catapult the dragon until its underwear falls off, and it flies away out of sheer embarrassment. The action moves as briskly as a well-oiled cartoon episode, and ends on an appropriately amusing note: in return for his gallantry, Cole wants an assistant of his own. Ages 3–7. [em](Oct.) [/em]