From the Publisher:
Brave little knight realizes that the best way to tame a beast is to find the source of its pain.
In a curious kingdom on top of a forest lives a little knight. His life is easy: during the day, he has fun training flies, and at night, he relaxes in a hammock, befriending the bats. But one day, the village falls under the shadow of a terrifying dragon. Our hero sets off to protect the village from the fearsome dragon, and he manages to save the day with the help of some friends and a dose of kindness.
This fun picture book is part of the continuing saga of Gilles Tibo’s ‘little knight’, who, in this title, is called upon by frightened villagers find and challenge a fire-breathing dragon. He is armed with a shield and sword and a derelict mechanical metal horse (that he has to stop and fix “more than 10 times”). The story loosely follows Aesop’s fable ‘The Lion and the Mouse”. The little knight finds the dragon and discovers her hurt and caught in a trap. He concocts a plan to exhaust the dragon, making her docile enough for him to free her leg from the metal trap, and he returns to the village with his new friend. A celebratory bonfire and dance is held to honour their return. The illustrations are vibrant and engaging. Of note are the numerous text ‘asides’ on each page (outside of the main text) that further describe the action and character reactions. Told with tongue-in-cheek humour, the book is a delight.
This book makes for a wonderful read-aloud, as the dialogue is engaging with many descriptive and exciting action words to be emphasised and acted out (e.g. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! Click! Clack! Bang! Bang! Bang!, etc.). My three year old fell in love with the little knight and has asked that we find the others in the series. Though a bit young to get all the humorous asides, she loved the extra descriptions on each page and immediately could identify the extra text, even if she couldn’t read it for herself. The drawings of fire and the dragon are dramatic, but not too scary. My daughter got caught up in the action and especially loved the always-collapsing mechanical horse. She asked if we could try to build one for ourselves (toy version) and we spent a happy hour brainstorming tools and resources to use (pipe cleaners, lego, wheels from a toy car, etc.).
- exciting action words to act out
- engaging illustrations
- extra captions outside of the text blocks that serve to further describe characters and actions that add humour and whimsy and make this title unique
Why/How Use it with kids:
- this would make a wonderful read-aloud, as there are many action words to act out or use dramatic flair with
- have kids create their own mechanical animal for a knight to ride (using tinker toys/K’nex, lego, etc.)
- create and illustrate/act out their own ‘little knight’ adventure story
About the Author & Illustrator:
GILLES TIBO is a Canadian author who has written and illustrated more than a hundred children’s books. His Nicholas series with Bruno St-Aubin has been highly successful in both French and English. Gilles is a two-time winner of the Governor General’s Award and the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, and a two-time nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Prize. He lives in Montreal, Quebec.
GENEVIÈVE DESPRÉS is a four-time Applied Arts Illustration Award winner. She has illustrated many French picture books, as well as the English books The Highest Number in the World and Best Friend Trouble. Geneviève lives in Saint-Lambert, on the south shore of Montreal, Canada.