The Sword in the Stove

Frank W. Dormer. S&S/Atheneum, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4814-3167-5
Besides a couple of knights and a reference to The Sword in the Stone that adult readers will need to explain to the intended audience, this absurd dialogue bears no resemblance to Arthurian legend. Readers first see a knight running and chanting, “Gotta go, gotta go.” Another knight follows, and questions a chef as to his friend Harold’s whereabouts. “He had to go potty,” explains the chef. While they wait, the chef and knight find a sword, shield, and helmet in the oven (the knight punctuates each odd discovery with silly exclamations like “Holy haddock!” and “Wobbling wizards!”), leading them to wonder, “Who would put Harold in the stove?” Enter a dragon, who roasts and eats the lot of them. Dormer (The Obstinate Pen) loosely assembles the characters from geometric watercolor shapes: a rectangular torso, an oval head, stick-figure arms and legs. There’s a certain fun in the characters’ wholesale inanity, but this lightweight tale amounts to a skit for only the most avid, and forgiving, fans of knightly adventure. Ages 4–8. Agent: Emily Mitchell, Wernick & Pratt Agency. (May)
Reviewed on: 02/22/2016
Release date: 05/17/2016
Genre: Children's
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