Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Knight--A Noble Guide for Young Squires

My young browser grabbed this off the shelves in the Children's Room. Published by Candlewick Press, this "Genuine and Most Authentic Guide" to chivalry bears an "Ages 3 + up" notation on its colorful and nicely-illustrated cover.

We loved it, but my little squire is 5 and a lot of it was over his head. He didn't care, though, and neither did I. It took us a couple of days to read at bedtime--there are several chapters and a lot of information displayed on each page.

The book is full of pop-ups, pop-outs, text boxes, mini board games, books-within-a-book: it was not the most relaxing bedtime read, but it was completely engrossing. The illustrations are charming and engaging. The book explains the fundamentals of chivalry while taking the reader on a quest to rescue Sir Geoffrey, the author. It does address the reader as "my son," which does not recommend it if you're reading to a girl. The text is full of humorous asides, like this one in the chapter on Questing: "Make sure the dragon you are going to fight is actually wicked and not just misunderstood. Many people quite like them." The book also contains a greater message about chivalry in everyday life--be brave, stick up for the defenseless, never lie, be generous, etc. (Surprise Bonus for former medieval lit majors: the book contains a terrific little recap of the medieval poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.)

Bottom line: very enjoyable. I'd put it at ages 5 + up, and I would not put it in the hands of a child who is too young to treat books gently.--Juno

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad that there seems to be a trend in publishing right now. I feel like I am seeing lots of books about knights. I think that books of this nature can be a very helpful tool to help address a little boys' facination with violence and warfare. By focusing on the chilvarous aspect of the knighthood, you can satisfy their "blood lust" but give a heaping dose of morality along with it!